, 83 tweets, 26 min read Read on Twitter
We are witnessing a tragedy and a catastrophe unfolding. Notre Dame, the symbol of Paris, and one of the great icons of French history, is engulfed in a out of control fire, which has now spread across the entire roof.

We are losing Notre Dame.
The great spire of Notre Dame, just a few minutes ago.
The spire has just collapsed and fallen into the cathedral in a shower of sparks and flame.
People are weeping openly on the streets. The fire is out of control and threatening the front facade of the cathedral.

@lemondefr are reporting that local Parisian firefighters can’t reach the flames at all, as they are too high for their hoses to reach.
The flames are out of control, and established now not just in the roof, but in the heart of the cathedral itself. Everything wooden is gone, and the whole structure is under threat. What is happening is unimaginable. The photo below is from 9 minutes ago.
Reuters have just reported in the last few minutes that every part of the building is on fire.
If you read French, this is @lemondefr's live coverage.
All the roof, all the wooden interior, the spire, gone. Almost certainly most of the art and the unique collection of relics are gone. The great Rose Window is gone.
The North, South and West Rose windows are gone. Some of these windows have stood for 800 years, since the 13th century. This is unimaginable horror.
There are reports of the destruction of the great Rose Windows from multiple spectators posting online, but this has not yet been verified by any of the major French news organisations.
@AgnesCPoirier reported on BBC News that the stained glass windows have melted. They are no longer there.
The @SkyNewsBreak reporter on the scene right now, has just said the Rose Windows appear to have been destroyed by the fire.
There are news reports coming in right now from reporters on the scene saying that the fire appears to be established inside at least one of the two great front facing stone towers.
The French Interior Minister, @CCastaner, has just tweeted that airborne firefighting - dropping water from helicopters - is not possible in this case, due to the risk to the structure of the cathedral
"Sur le sommet de la galerie la plus élevée, plus haut que la rosace centrale, il y avait une grande flamme qui montait entre les deux clochers avec des tourbillons d’étincelles, une grande flamme désordonnée et furieuse"
Notre-Dame de Paris, Victor Hugo, Paris, 1831.
French TV is reporting that firefighters are saying they are unsure if any part of the cathedral can be saved.
The Archbishop of Paris has just asked that the bells in every Parisian church be rung, to summon their congregations to prayer now, for the survival of Notre Dame.
There are, tragically, multiple reports from independent journalists indicating that the Rose Windows are gone, are at least have suffered devastating damage. 400 firefighters are at the scene.
Drone footage from above the Cathedral.
La Rosace Ouest: 1225
La Rosace Nord: 1250
La Rosace Sud: 1260
A Paris Fire Brigade spokesman has just said that they now expect to save at least some parts of the stone structure from total destruction. This is a more optimistic forecast than they were making an hour ago. One firefighter has been seriously injured while tackling the blaze.
Journalist @JulieBrafman was able to photograph the drone-feed of the French police.
Confirmation that the two great stone towers will be saved.
The Rector of the Cathedral, Mgr Patrick Chauvet, has just confirmed that two of the cathedral's most important relics, the Crown of Thorns (shown below) and the Tunic of Saint Louis, have both been saved from the flames.
This is tomorrow morning's front page for the Parisian daily Libération. @libe
“We will rebuild Notre Dame. Because it is what the French people expect, it is what our history deserves, and it is our destiny” Emmanuel Macron has just addressed the French nation from the scene.
There are still conflicting reports on the fate of the Cathedral's three great Rose Windows. Some reports in the last 20 minutes suggest that at least one, and possibly two of them have survived, at least in part.
The Vicaire général de l’archidiocèse de Paris has just said: "L’orgue a été détruite et le plomb des vitraux a fondu et sont pour la plupart irrécupérables".
Confirmation that the great organ of Notre Dame and at least one of the Rosace windows has been destroyed.
There is now an apparently reliable report from @Valdiguie, a French blue-tick journalist on the scene, that the North Rose Window of Notre Dame - La Rosace Nord - is still intact - although not, according to firemen, entirely out of danger.
The first photos of the interior of the cathedral are starting to come in.
Photo by Yoan Valat.
Agence France-Presse reports that François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of the luxury group Kering, which owns brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen, has pledged 100 million euros towards rebuilding Notre-Dame.
A useful piece just out on the fate of the Rose Windows, focussed on what is now definitely known - unfortunately and frustratingly, there is a lack of clear news from official sources.
No clarity from the NY Times this morning on the windows. "The status of the three windows was unclear on Monday, but the prognosis seemed troubling."
Heartening photograph taken in the last hour this morning showing at least once of the Rosaces intact (although likely damaged).
Photographic confirmation from the exterior that the Rosace Sud is intact this morning, but the smaller window above it is gone.
If we couple these photos with the apparently reliable report from a journalist late last night that the North Rose Window is also intact, it seems the greatest concern is about the Rosace Ouest, the Window of Vices and Virtues, near the organ.
There are now multiple independent French news reports that both the South and North Rose Windows of Notre Dame are at least largely intact (although this doesn't mean they haven't sustained possibly severe damage). The status of the West window, La Rosace Ouest, is less clear.
This morning.
Photo by Reuters’ Philippe Wojazer.
There are several unverified eyewitness reports this morning that the Rosace Ouest still looks intact from the exterior, although it's certainly sustained damage. Reports last night that all three windows had "exploded due to the heat" were undoubtedly false.
By far the greatest blessing - a miracle - is that the Rosace Nord has survived. The South and West windows were very extensively restored in the 18th and 19th century, but the North Rose Window has stood basically unchanged for 800 years, the glass is the 13th century original.
Not the right language to use, but he's right.

Astonishing photos in the French newspapers this morning.
The relics of St Louis, saved from the flames.
"The whole fire is extinguished. The next phase is up to the experts", said Gabriel Plus, spokesman of the Paris Fire-fighters Brigade.
This apparently well sourced French news report in the last hour confirms:

The organ suffered severe damage, but contrary to what the church said last night, was not destroyed.

The great French organist Olivier Latry plays Bach on the Notre Dame organ in January, earlier this year.
There has been a report on French radio this morning (France Info|) that one of the windows - presumably (but not definitely) the Rosace Ouest - may have to be disassembled because of the risk of imminent collapse.
No surprise at the best selling book on French @amazon this morning.
André Finot, spokesman for Notre-Dame Cathedral, has just said that when he left the building at 4am this morning, all three of the Rosaces were intact.
@AP reporting that Bernard Arnault and his group LVMH have seen Francois Pinault's pledge of €100m, and doubled it: Arnault has just pledged €200 million for Notre Dame's reconstruction.
Further confirmation just in from @LeHuffPost that all three of the Rosaces have been saved.
The French and UK press this morning.
The Guardian’s Kim Willsher reports that police are interviewing workers from the companies involved in the renovation of the cathedral to establish the cause of the fire.
A brilliant thread, absolutely must read.
If you ever doubt that France is the home of Civilisation:
The beams in the roof of Notre Dame were replaced 160 years ago. Afterwards, an avenue of oaks was planted at Versailles, so that they would have wood of the right age when the job next needed doing.

The oaks are ready.
This is Father Jean-Marc Fournier, Chaplain of the Paris Firefighters @PompiersParis, who ran into the cathedral with them, to save the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament. "He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics [...], and made sure they were saved."
Useful schematic drawing from @washingtonpost.
@SkyNewsBreak reporting that L'Oreal, the Bettencourt Meyers family and the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation have pledged to donate €200m to repairing the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Added to the Pinault & Arnault pledges already received, that's half a billion euros promised so far.
Reuters now reporting that the CEO of Total has pledged €100m for the restoration as well. That's €600m in the kitty so far from just 4 pledges.
Father Fournier, priest-firefighter, having previously served in Afghanistan, was also amongst the first responders who entered the Bataclan music venue in Paris on November 13, 2015.
Interesting, from a specialist in medieval Syria.
Monsigneur Philippe Marsset, Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Paris: "Inside everything is flooded, charred, damaged. The outside is standing, but inside everything is black".

[Narrator voice: @JamesDelingpole is a 53 year old cultural commentator who lives a convenient 2 hour 15 min. Eurostar train ride away from Notre Dame. He has never visited the cathedral, or even seen it in person, but feels it's our fault it burned down].
Father Fournier is having a moment.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame is - apart from everything else - France’s “zero kilometre” point, from which all road distances are measured.
Long thread, with comprehensive and expert analysis of the damage to Notre Dame by French archaeology PhD Pabrick Truelle @ClementSalviani Truelle.
France's Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, thanks the firefighters involved in tackling the blaze.
Remarkable video shot by a firefighter this afternoon, showing, from above, the damage to the roof.
If you're in the US and would like to donate to the restoration of the Cathedral, this is the official fund. The Friends of Notre-Dame is a 501c3 public charity; all gifts are tax deductible in the United States.
Beautifully phrased tweet, and a sentiment I'm sure shared by many.
This will be the cover for next week's issue of The New Yorker @NewYorker.
Good French summary of what's now known about the Rose Windows: All three of the large Rosaces have survived, but the two small Rosaces that stood above the larger ones on the North and South transepts appear to have been destroyed.
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