GONE IN A FLASH

Photos: Flames engulf Notre Dame in Paris

Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame cathedral.
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame cathedral.
Image: Reuters/Benoit Tessier
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The startling images of the fire at Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral today (April 15) have captured the world’s attention.

Plumes of smoke towered into the sky as massive flames burst up from the roof, engulfing the cathedral’s spire.  French media reports that the fire appears to have started by an accident related to renovations within Notre Dame, whose construction started in the 12th-century and was completed in the 14th. It is one of Paris’s most visited tourist destinations, and one of its most recognizable, a formidable feature of a multitude of paintings, photography, film and literature.

Photos show the grim scene of the growing fire with the massive church, spilling out across the roof, ultimately toppling the spire. Across the Seine, tourists watched in horror as the situation unfolded, capturing the scene with their phones and cameras as the sun set over a smoky Paris.

The spire of the landmark Notre Dame cathedral collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames in central Paris on April 15, 2019.
The spire of the landmark Notre Dame cathedral collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames in central Paris on April 15, 2019.
Image: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty
People watch as fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
People watch as fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
Image: Reuters/Charles Platiau
Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke fill the air above Notre Dame.
Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke fill the air above Notre Dame.
Image: AP Photo
A view of Notre Dame burning from across the Seine.
A view of Notre Dame burning from across the Seine.
Image: AP Photo/Lori Hinant
Seeing the smoke rise from Notre Dame in the distance.
Seeing the smoke rise from Notre Dame in the distance.
Image: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty
Smoke billows from the cathedral after a fire destroyed its spire.
Smoke billows from the cathedral after a fire destroyed its spire.
Image: Reuters/Julie Carriat
Smoke billows from Notre Dame, where scaffolding was in place when the fire broke out.
Smoke billows from Notre Dame, where scaffolding was in place when the fire broke out.
Image: Reuters/Charles Platiau
The view from a bridge as Notre Dame burns.
The view from a bridge as Notre Dame burns.
Image: Reuters/Benoit Tessier
Flames burst through Notre Dame’s roof.
Flames burst through Notre Dame’s roof.
Image: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images
Tourists and Paris residents look on at the stunning scene.
Tourists and Paris residents look on at the stunning scene.
Image: Edouard Magrino/AFP/Getty Images
The spire of the cathedral is exposed by flames.
The spire of the cathedral is exposed by flames.
Image: Reuters/Benoit Tessier
The roof and spire engulfed in flames.
The roof and spire engulfed in flames.
Image: AP Photo/Thibault Camus
A view of Paris as the smoke from the Notre Dame fire rises over the city.
A view of Paris as the smoke from the Notre Dame fire rises over the city.
Image: AP Photo