The famed Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

Extremely sad news being brought to you this evening.

Notre-Dame cathedral's spire has collapsed in a "terrible" fire, forcing the French president to cancel a major speech.

Plumes of smoke poured from the historic landmark's steeples, as flames spread out across the 12th century building.

A city hall spokesman said the area was being cleared, while the fire department added a major operation was under way.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo urged the public to "respect the security perimeter" around the cathedral while emergency services tackle the "terrible fire".

French President Emmanuel Macron also confirmed he had scrapped a planned television speech to the nation.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.

The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is famous for featuring in Victor Hugo's classic novel the Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

It attracts millions of tourists every year.

Source: Sky News

It's always sad to see history destroyed. Initial reports are suggesting the fire started where renovation work was being carried out.

It is horrible ... Fortunately they will rebuild it !

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