By Maureen Mackey | April 15, 2019

A major fire has broken out at the extraordinary Notre Dame Cathedral — one of the most visited landmarks in the world — in central Paris on Monday.

As tourists stood back and watched in shock and fear, firefighters continued to try to clear the area so that first responders and others could begin to tend to the damaged building.

It was not immediately clear what caused the flames, although the building — nearly 900 years old — had been undergoing renovations recently.

President Donald Trump tweeted this message about the fire on Monday:

Boats were going to be coming down the Seine River to help try to thwart the flames, Fox News reported.

“Seeing that spire come down will resonate — not only across France but across the world,” noted reporter Benjamin Hall on Fox News on Monday at about 2:05 p.m. Eastern.

Notre Dame, a medieval Catholic cathedral, is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world.

Fire trucks could be seen shooting water into the center of the building as reports also emerged of large crowds continuing to gather to watch the fire in progress. Many people in Paris are said to be in shock, according to news reports.

This is a breaking news story; stand by for updates.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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