Famed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is on fire

PARIS - The iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris caught fire on April 15, police said, sending a plum of smoke high above the French city.

The fire started at 6:50 p.m. according to the Paris Fire Department and was spreading quickly last they said.

The fire department says the fire does not look criminal and may be connected to recent restoration work on the church. Some videos appear to show scaffolding on the side of the building.

"Notre Dame Fire in progress," police said on Twitter. "Avoid the area and facilitate the passage of emergency vehicles and intervention of the @prefpolice."

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.

See photos of the fire's progression in the gallery below.

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