A French official and the Paris fire chief say they think Notre Dame Cathedral’s landmark rectangular towers have been saved from the fire that caused horrific damage.
Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said late Monday that authorities remain “prudent” but are “much more optimistic” than earlier in the night.
Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet said a major accomplishment of hundreds of firefighters was stopping the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry.
Gallet says two-thirds of Notre Dame’s roofing “has been ravaged.” He says one firefighter was injured.
He says fire crews will keep working overnight to cool down the structure.
The Vatican has issued a statement about the “terrible fire” that has “devastated” Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The Vatican said: “The Holy See has seen with shock and sadness the news of the terrible fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world.”
Vatican said they are praying for firefighters
The statement says the Vatican is praying for firefighters “and those who are doing everything possible to confront this dramatic situation” on Monday.
It also expressed “our closeness to French Catholics and the population of Paris, and we assure our prayers for firefighters.
Authorities are investigating if renovation work on the cathedral’s fire was a factor in starting or spreading the fire.
On Thursday, 16 religious statues were removed from the peak for the first time in over a century to be taken for cleaning and therefore escaped the blaze.