A fire broke out at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, one of the city’s most famous landmarks, on Monday afternoon.
On Twitter investigative journalist Shiv Malik shared footage of the incident, which has sent smoke and flames shooting from the top of the cathedral. The fire has also reportedly caused the collapse of the cathedral's central spire and begun to engulf the bell towers.
The central spire collapse into the heart of the building and now the twin bell towers are being torched by the ferocity of the flames pic.twitter.com/jb1iViUGSd— Shiv Malik (@shivmalik) April 15, 2019
CNBC reports that the mayor of Paris and firefighters have warned tourists and residents to stay away from the area while efforts to contain the blaze are underway.
While the cause of the fire is not immediately clear, it may be connected to a recent restoration of the building, officials have told ABC News.
According to the BBC, Notre Dame has been undergoing restoration due to cracks that have appeared in the building’s stone, which has led to fears that the structure could become unstable. Last year, the Catholic Church had launched an appeal for funds to save the historic cathedral.