Notre Dame fire LIVE: Teams race to recover priceless relics as firefighters extinguish blaze


How the fire unfolded


5.50pm BST (6.50pm local time) – Reports begin to emerge of smoke coming from the building. The last visitors of the day are evacuated and the Paris fire brigade begin to fight flames emerging from the cathedral’s roof.

7.10pm – A church spokesman tells French media that all of Notre Dame Cathedral’s frame is burning.

7.30pm – First responders work to salvage art and other priceless pieces. A spokesman says the entire wooden interior of the Notre Dame is burning and likely to be destroyed.

8.20pm – French president Emmanuel Macron arrives at the scene.

8.30pm – The fire that destroyed the spire spreads to one of the church’s landmark rectangular towers. Paris police say firefighters have moved inside the cathedral.

8.50pm – An official at France’s Interior Ministry warns firefighters may not be able to save Notre Dame.

9.05pm – The fire chief in Paris says it is unclear if firefighters will be able to keep the blaze from spreading.

9.30pm – 400 firefighters are at the scene of the fire. Laurent Nunez, from France’s Interior Ministry, says the fire may continue to expand. The cause of fire remains unknown.

10pm – Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says firefighters are optimistic they can salvage Notre Dame’s main towers from flames. People who live nearby have been evacuated in case of a collapse.

The Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet says the structure has been saved.

10.20pm – Paris prosecutors say preliminary investigations indicate the fire was started accidentally. They have ruled out arson for now and say police will conduct an investigation into “involuntary destruction caused by fire”.

The Paris fire commander confirms one firefighter was injured while tackling the blaze and says two-thirds of Notre Dame’s roofing “has been ravaged”. Fire crews will keep working overnight to cool down the structure.

10.30pm – Mr Macron calls the blaze a “terrible tragedy” and says a fund will be launched to raise money for repairs.

12am – Ms Hidalgo confirms on Twitter that the relic of the crown of thorns and a number of priceless artefacts were taken from the cathedral to Paris City Hall for safekeeping.

8am – The Paris Fire Service, Pompiers de Paris, said on Twitter that Notre Dame’s structure and artworks had been saved, with two police officers and one firefighter slightly wounded.

8.45am – Paris firefighters confirm that the blaze at Notre Dame cathedral has been fully extinguished.

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