French President Emmanuel Macron vows to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral after the 850-year old structure went up in flames.
President Macron made the promise during a speech outside the cathedral on Monday saying he was starting an international fundraiser immediately in order to rebuild.
Macron went on to call the fire a “terrible tragedy” though he said the “worst has been avoided.”
Though the roof and main spire collapsed, officials say the historic structure has been saved from “total destruction.”
Reports claim 16 religious statues were rescued from the flames among other pieces of artwork and relics.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) April 15, 2019
The fire started around 7 p.m. and burned for around twelve hours with as many as 400 firefighters at the scene, according to local officials.
Three first responders were injured in connection with the fire, though no fatalities were reported.
An investigation is ongoing to determine how the blaze started, though officials claim the tragedy is likely to have been an accident linked the renovation project it was undergoing.
Notre-Dame is aflame. Great emotion for the whole nation. Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight. https://t.co/27CrJgJkJb
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019