WASHINGTON - A devastating fire swept through the famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday destroying its spire and roof and causing damage to the interior that is still being assessed.
After an over 12-hour battle against the inferno, firefighters said early Tuesday morning that they have extinguished the flames.
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Many leaders around the Washington D.C. region showed sadness over the fire and expressed solidarity with France.
Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan tweeted, "Our hearts are breaking watching this horrific scene. Notre Dame is one of the world's most iconic cathedrals. Our prayers are with the first responders and everyone involved."
Our hearts are breaking watching this horrific scene. Notre Dame is one of the world's most iconic cathedrals. Our prayers are with the first responders and everyone involved.— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) April 15, 2019
D.C.'s Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote, "Washington, DC joins all those around the world who want to help bear the weight of Paris's grief. During this moment of tragedy, we send our condolences and support to Mayor Anne Hidalgo the Notre Dame community, Paris, and all of France."
Washington, DC joins all those around the world who want to help bear the weight of Paris’s grief. During this moment of tragedy, we send our condolences and support to Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo, the Notre Dame community, Paris, and all of France.— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) April 15, 2019
President Donald Trump tweeted, "God bless the people of France!"
God bless the people of France!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
The cause of the blaze is still being investigated. Paris officials said the world famous 18th century organ appears to have survived the fire as did the cathedral's iconic bell towers.
American Catholics are already raising funds to help rebuild Notre Dame with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception leading the effort.
In solidarity with @notredameparis, the National Shrine is welcoming donations through a special online collection in the wake of the #NotreDameFire. Join us in supporting the Cathedral of Notre Dame in #Paris at https://t.co/MwBazNxNP5.— National Shrine (@MarysShrine) April 16, 2019