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.
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."
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."
President Donald Trump tweeted, "God bless the people of France!"
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.