UPDATE 2 – Fire breaks out in Notre Dame cathedral in Paris


By Can Erozden

ANKARA (AA) – Fire fighters said Monday they are not sure if they will be able to save the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a massive fire gutted it.

Jean-Claude Gallet, a senior fire fighting official, told French media: "We are not sure of being able to contain the fire from spreading."

He added that the next one-and-a-half hour is crucial as the fire may spread to the second tower and belfry.

Earlier, French daily Le Figaro reported that the roof of the cathedral has collapsed completely.

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a speech to the nation and wrote in a tweet: "As all citizens, tonight I'm sad to see this part of us burning."

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted: "A terrible fire has broken out at Notre Dame de Paris. Fire fighters are trying to control the flames,"

Laurent Nunez, secretary of state to the French interior minister, said no casualties have been reported so far.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. ‏

One of the most important touristic spots of Paris, Notre Dame — which means 'Our Lady' — dates back to 1345.

Turkey joined the rest of world in expressing sorrow at the massive fire which has engulfed the historic masterpiece.

"We are following the fire destroying the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris with great sorrow," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a tweet.

"The destruction of this masterpiece of architecture is a catastrophe for the entire humanity," he added.

"It is with very heavy hearts that we received the devastating news about the fire in Paris, France. The Notre Dame cathedral is not just a symbol of France but part of humanity’s shared heritage," Turkey’s presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun tweeted.