The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire Monday, but firefighters believe they have saved part of the iconic structure.
Images and video showed flames and thick plumes of smoke billowing near its spire, which was surrounded by scaffolding. The spire and roof eventually collapsed.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo said late Monday that firefighters were optimistic they could keep the towers that bookend the famous cathedral from going up in flames.
Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said late Monday that authorities remain ``prudent'' but are ``much more optimistic'' than earlier in the night.
The fire chief in Paris went even further, saying his crews managed to stop the flames from reaching the belfry and prevented a catastrophic collapse.
Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet says one firefighter was injured, adding that two-thirds of Notre Dame's roof "has been ravaged."
Hildago says the significant collection art work and holy objects kept inside the church has been recovered.
The medieval cathedral was completed in the 13th century and today, with its towers, spire, flying buttresses and stained glass, is considered a feat of architecture as much as a religious symbol.
Located in Île de la Cité, a small island in the middle of the city, the cathedral is one of Paris' most popular attractions, drawing an estimated 13 million visitors a year.