Mon. 4:31 p.m.: 400 firefighters but Notre Dame may not be saved
PARIS (AP) — An official from the French Interior Ministry says 400 firefighters are at the scene of the fire but might they not be able to save Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Laurent Nunez, speaking to reporters at the scene, says the devastating fire is not limited yet to a certain area and might continue to expand. He says cause of fire at the cathedral is unknown.
The fire chief in Paris says it’s unclear if city firefighters will be able to keep a fire at Notre Dame from spreading and causing more destruction.
Fire Chief Jean-Claude Gallet said outside the iconic cathedral as his crews battled the blaze from both the exterior and interior: “We are not sure we are capable of stopping the spreading” to Notre Dame’s second tower and belfry.
Gallet said: “If it collapses, you can imagine how important the damage will be.”
Flames already have reached one of Notre Dame’s towers and brought down the church spire that extended 315-feet.
The Vatican has issued a statement about the “terrible fire” that has “devastated” Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The Vatican said: “The Holy See has seen with shock and sadness the news of the terrible fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world.”
The statement says the Vatican is praying for firefighters “and those who are doing everything possible to confront this dramatic situation” on Monday.
It also expressed “our closeness to French Catholics and the population of Paris, and we assure our prayers for firefighters