(LIVE) Fire at Notre Dame cathedral: the Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation (VIDEO)

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Fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral. (Photo: Twitter) Fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral. (Photo: Twitter)

A major fire ripped through Notre-Dame cathedral in central Paris late Monday. Watch Live HERE.

00:54am What are Arabic-speaking Muslims saying about the fire (and possible arson) in Notre Dame Cathedral? This guy expresses his hopes that the French will soon cry over the Arc de Triomphe as well.

(Photo: Twitter)

00:40am Three days ago a Muslim jihadis in Paris was arrested for planning a terrorist attack at Notre Dame Cathedral. Today, Notre Dame is in flames (HERE).

00:31am The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, a spokesperson told CNN on Monday. Prosecutors will be investigating an "involuntary destruction by fire,” the spokesperson said.

00:20am A brief summary of who is responding to the tragic Notre Dame fire with 'smiley faces' on Facebook. Look HERE.

11:59pm Prosecutors believe the fire started accidentally, based on their preliminary investigation.

11.54pm For those of you just joining our coverage of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, where a major operation is under way to save the historic building, here is a timeline of events courtesy of Reuters.

6:50 pm local time: Fire starts in roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, according to firefighters
7:07 pm: A Reuters journalist sees smoke and flames at Notre Dame from a distance.
7:40 pm: Fire spreads to the giant spire. The French president cancels planned TV address to the nation to go to the scene.
7:53 pm: Cathedral’s spire collapses.
8:07 pm: Entire roof collapses,.
8:25 pm: Île de la Cité, the island on which Notre Dame sits, is evacuated by police.

(Photo: YouTube/PrintScreen)

11:53pm "We will bring the best talents to work on the Cathedral," President Macron said.

11:52pm "This (the fire) was part of the French destiny and it is project for tomorrow. But we will face it head on," President Macron said.

11:51pm "I would like to spare a thought for Catholics in France and around the world, as well as Parisians," President Macron said.

11:49pm »Two fires starts at Notre Dame. This is not an accident!« some say on Twitter

11:42 Rector of Notre-Dame, Patrick Jacquin, has reportedly told local media that the Crown of Thorns and the Tunic of St Louis have both been recovered. However, fears remain for the many priceless artworks and artefacts still housed inside the cathedral.

11:33pm It's past 11 p.m. in Paris, but the crowds of Notre Dame mourners haven't gone anywhere -- many are still gathered outside the cathedral, praying and singing hymns, CNN reported. Some are on their knees; at one point, a group broke out in a haunting rendition of the "Ave Maria." They have been singing for almost two hours now, and the hymns are getting louder as more people join in. Watch HERE.

(Photo: YouTube/PrintScreen)

11:29pm Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet says that a major accomplishment of the hundreds of firefighters was stopping the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry, Guardian reported.

11:22pm The two towers of Notre Dame have been saved, a firefighting official has told Reuters.

(Photo: YouTube/PrintScreen)

11:17pm Paris police chief: Structure of Notre Dame cathedral has been saved, fire stopped from spreading to northern belfry, AP reported.

11:11pm French fire service official says one fireman has been seriously injured in the Notre Dame blaze.

10:51pm A firefighter at scene says all efforts are also being directed at preventing the collapse of the northern tower, Euronews reported.

10.46pm Churches around France are ringing their bells in solidarity with Notre-Dame.

(Photo: ABCNews/PrintScreen)

10.31pm For those of you just joining our coverage of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, where a major operation is under way to save the historic building, here is a timeline of events courtesy of Reuters.

6:50 pm local time (1650 GMT): Fire starts in roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, according to firefighters
7:07 pm: A Reuters journalist sees smoke and flames at Notre Dame from a distance.
7:40 pm: Fire spreads to the giant spire. The French president cancels planned TV address to the nation to go to the scene.
7:53 pm: Cathedral’s spire collapses.
8:07 pm: Entire roof collapses,.
8:25 pm: Île de la Cité, the island on which Notre Dame sits, is evacuated by police.

10:30pm  UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he is "horrified" to see the images coming out of Paris. "Horrified by the pictures coming from Paris with the fire engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral — a unique example of world heritage that has stood tall since the 14th century," Guterres said in a tweet. "My thoughts are with the people and government of France."

(Photo: Twitter)

10:20pm "A terrible fire is underway at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris," mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter. 

10:19pm Notre-Dame Cathedral was located at the centre of the French capital of Paris in the Middle Ages and its construction was completed in the mid-12th century after some 200 years of work.

10.17pm  No injuries have been reported at this stage, according to French Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez.

10:15pm Vatican expresses "shock and sadness" over Notre-Dame devastation.

10:11pm A firefighter at the scene of the blaze told Reuters all efforts are now directed at saving the artwork at the back of the cathedral, Euronews reported.

(Photo: NBC/PrintScreen)

10:09pm The next hour and a half is "crucial" to see if the fire at Notre Dame can be contained, Paris fire department says. Video HERE.

10:01pm Reuters has more from firefighters at the scene who say all efforts are being directed at preventing the collapse of the northern tower and at saving the artwork at the back of the cathedral.

09:51pm French fire services say they are "not sure" if Notre-Dame fire can be stopped and saving Notre-Dame "is not certain," says deputy interior minister, AFP reported.

09:44pm Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared his shock and sadness, calling the cathedral "a world treasure." Read his full statement: 

“The horrific fire that is engulfing the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is shocking and saddens us all, for this particular cathedral is not only a majestic Church, it is also a world treasure. Noble in architecture and art, it has long been a symbol of the transcendent human spirit as well as our longing for God. Our hearts go out to the Archbishop and the people of Paris, and we pray for all the people of France, entrusting all to the prayers and intercession of the Mother of God, especially the firefighters battling the fire. We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.”

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared his shock and sadness, calling the cathedral "a world treasure." (Photo: Wikipedia)

09:42pm France's civil security agency says "all means" except for water-dropping aircraft are being deployed to tackle the blaze. The defense agency said those were unsuitable for fires like the one at Notre-Dame because dumping water on the building could cause the whole structure to collapse.

09:41pm Deputy Paris mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said that workers are scrambling "to save all the artworks that can be saved." French historian Camille Pascal told BFM TV the fire is destroying "invaluable heritage", France24 reported.

09:40pm The 12th century cathedral was in the midst of a massive 20year renovation project.

09:36pm Investigation opened. The Paris prosecutor's office has launched an inquiry into the fire, with local media reporting that investigators are treating it as an accident, France24 reported.

(Photo: NBC/YouTube/PrintScreen)

09:24pm The steeple of the landmark Notre Dame cathedral collapses. Video HERE.

09:18pm The pictures from Notre Dame are so heartbreaking.

09:16pm The steeple of the landmark Notre Dame cathedral collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames in central Paris.

(Photo: Twitter/PrintScreen)

09:15pm Monday is the start of Holy Week, the busiest and most important period of the liturgical year. Easter is on Sunday.

09:12pm NY Times: Here's what we know so far about the Notre Dame fire: (1) The fire alarm went off around 6:30 p.m. in Paris. (2) Part of the historic church's spire collapsed. (3) The fire's cause is unknown and there was no immediate indication that anyone had been hurt.

(Photo: NBC/PrintScreen)

09:10pm France jails Muslima who plotted to blow up Notre Dame cathedral in Paris with gas canisters: One of the 3 women involved in the foiled plot was sentenced to eight years, Pamela Geller reported. (HERE)

09:08pm 800 hundred years of history is burning to the ground. Devastating.

09:06pm Flames continue to rage inside Notre Dame as night falls on Paris.

(Photo: NBC/PrintScreen)

09:03pm "It's finished, we'll never be able to see it again," said Jerome Fautrey, a 37-year-old who had come to watch. "Now we need to know how this happened -- with everything that's going on in the world, why Notre-Dame? Maybe it's a message from on high," he said, France24 reported.

09:00pm At the scene: It is eerily quiet. Hundreds of people are lining the Seine watching the fire, but they are silent. Police have pushed people back, even telling residents they can’t go to their homes, CNN reported.

08:55pm French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived at the historic Notre Dame cathedral, where a fire rages on.

(Photo: YouTube/PrintScreen)

08:54pm Watch Live HERE.

08:46pm The cathedral was built around 1260 AD and towered over the city of Paris for centuries. Much of the facade and interior are true to their original designs.

08:45pm Notre Dame spokesperson: "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame."

(Photo: YouTube/PrintScreen)

08:42pm French President Macron tweets on Notre Dame fire: "Emotion of a whole nation. Thoughts for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our compatriots, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn."

08:40pm The French police rushed in and started blowing whistles, telling everyone to move back, witnesses said. By then, the flames were towering, spilling out of multiple parts of the cathedral. Tourists and residents alike came to a standstill, pulling out their phones to call their loved ones. Older Parisians began to cry, lamenting how their national treasure was quickly being lost, NY Times reported.

08:35pm France: An average of three churches are attacked every day, Jihad Watch reported. (More HERE)

08:30pm Emmanuel Guary, a 31-year-old actor, said he was “sickened.” “It’s not about the faith — Notre Dame is a symbol of France,” he said among a huge crowd amassed on the Rue Rivoli, on the Right Bank. Many had tears in their eyes, NY Times reported.

(Photo: Twitter)

08:20pm Alexis, 35, who works from home in finance, said he had rushed to the scene after seeing the first images on TV. “I rushed down as soon as I saw what was happening. I never thought it would be this depressing.” (by Guardian)

08:15pm VIDEO HERE.

07:55pm Smoke could be seen billowing from the top of the medieval cathedral, considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France and one of Paris’s most-visited monuments. A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city and ash fell over a large area. No injuries were initially reported. The fire department said a major operation was under way. A city hall spokesman said the area was being cleared, Guardian reported.

(Photo: Twitter)

07:35pm VIDEO HERE.

07:15pm The fire rapidly spread and took over the iconic cathedral as onlookers nearby scrambled in disbelief to get a view. Seven or eight firetrucks were trying to tackle the flames and the smell of smoke emanated through the air. The firetrucks were having difficulty getting to the scene amid the daily afternoon rush hour. Police said on Twitter the public should avoid the area and allow emergency vehicles into the scene, CNN reported.

(Photo: Twitter)

07:14pm Live television footage showed flames engulfing the roof and spire, and smoke billowing out into the evening skyline of the French capital. The cathedral, located on an island in the middle of the Seine River, has been under renovation, with scaffolding covering much of the roof, Blooomberg reported.

7:07pm A Reuters journalist sees smoke and flames at Notre Dame from a distance.

6:50pm local time: Fire starts in roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, according to firefighters

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