"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame", he said. It has been modified on numerous occasions throughout the centuries since.
It is renowned for its rib vaulting, flying buttresses and stunning stained glass windows, as well as its many carved stone gargoyles.
The wood and lead spire was built during a restoration in the mid-19th century, according to the cathedral's website. When we left ... it was burning at a level that you rarely see a fire burn.
"Helicopter or plane, the weight of the water and the intensity of dropping it at low altitude could weaken the structure of Notre-Dame and cause collateral damage to surrounding buildings", it tweeted. 'It's on my bucket list and now one of the historic landmarks is just gone! The current $6.8 million restoration was meant to preserve it for future generations. In them, enormous plumes of smoke can be seen erupting from the cathedral, with flames leaping up to its bell towers and steeple. A large security perimeter has been set up by firefighters, who are now battling the fire.
A spokesperson for the cathedral said the blaze was first reported at 4.50am (NZT) (5.50pm GMT) and the building was evacuated soon after.
The iconic building is one of the most well-known in the world.
"September 11 attacks, also called 9/11 attacks, series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed in 2001 by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda against targets in the United States, the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in US history", the panel read.
French and US troops celebrated there after liberating Paris from Germany in World War II, and for generations of Americans it's been a top tourist destination. Hard to see how [to] tackle this.
An AP reporter at the scene of Monday's fire says the roof at the back of the cathedral, behind the nave, is in flames and yellow-brown smoke and ash fill the sky.
"I hope that the Paris fire brigade will get the fire under control as soon as possible". We have mobilized to the scene, in close communication with the Paris Diocese. "I invite each and every one to respect the perimeter of security". He tweeted, "Our Lady of Paris in flames".
Macron tweeted "emotion of a whole nation" on seeing Notre-Dame ablaze.
Vice President Mike Pence offered his "thoughts and prayers" to the people of Paris, as he talked about the "heartbreaking" sight of seeing a holy site on fire.