The cathedral’s 19th century spire collapsed into the church’s nave, irreparably piercing through the 850-year-old building, a landmark of Gothic architecture sitting in the heart of France’s capital.
It took several hours for hundreds of firefighters to quell the flames, which ignited during an evening mass on April 15 at the start of Holy Week, the busiest and most important period of the liturgical year. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, though Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz has told reporters it was “likely accidental.”
“Like all of our countrymen, I am sad tonight to see part of us burning,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on the day of the fire.
As millions mourned and wondered about what could be saved from the cathedral, “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir was the first television journalist allowed inside since the devastating fire, going inside the church with retired French Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, who has been chosen by Macron to lead the restoration of the storied church.