A catastrophic fire has engulfed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world.
Flames that began in the early evening burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which collapsed, quickly followed by the entire roof.
However a French official and the Paris fire chief said they thought the iconic towers had been saved from the fire, and authorities said the cathedral's structure was "saved from total destruction".
Fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet said a major accomplishment of hundreds of firefighters was stopping the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry.
He said one firefighter had been seriously injured in the blaze, while two-thirds of Notre Dame's roofing "has been ravaged".