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A firefighter tackles the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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A firefighter tackles the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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Gallery: Fire devastates Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

A massive fire has engulfed the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris, shooting up its long spire and sending thick plumes of smoke high into the blue sky as tourists and Parisians looked on aghast.

Firefighters douse flames rising from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Pic: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters douse flames rising from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Pic: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images
The cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

People stand on the banks of the Seine river as they look at a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. Pic: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
People stand on the banks of the Seine river as they look at a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. Pic: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images
The cause of the blaze was not known but a spokesman said the whole frame of the cathedral was burning.

People watch as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
People watch as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
As firefighters battled the blaze, part of the spire of the 12-century monument collapsed.

Police in the capital said there were no deaths so far and the origin of the fire was unknown.

French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saying the blaze is "potentially linked" to a €6 million renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead.

Flames shot out of the roof behind the nave of the cathedral, among the most visited landmarks in the world.

Sights of the flames stopped passers-by in their tracks along the Seine River that passes beneath the cathedral.

Firefighters tackle the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral. Pic: AP Photo/Thibault Camus
Firefighters tackle the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral. Pic: AP Photo/Thibault Camus
President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the stunning blaze and was going to the cathedral himself.

Smoke and flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. (FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke and flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. (FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
His pre-recorded speech was set to be aired on Monday evening to lay out his long-awaited answers to the yellow vest crisis that has rocked the country since last November.

Associated Press reporters at the scene saw massive plumes of yellow-brown smoke filling the air above the cathedral and ash falling on the island that houses Notre Dame and marks the centre of Paris.

People watch as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
People watch as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a Twitter message that firefighters are still trying to limit the fire and urged Paris citizens to respect the security perimeter set up around the cathedral.