A Paris resident has described his shock and sadness upon seeing the world famous Notre Dame Cathedral in flames.
The man, who was not identified, said he had heard of the fire and immediately ran to see what had happened.
"I can't believe now, Notre Dame, an icon of Paris, is destroyed," he said.
"I can't believe it - I'm really so sad, I was just crying just before and I feel like Paris is crying now, not just me."
Many Parisians gathered at the cordon near the cathedral, watching in horror as the flames continued to rise.
There were reports of some passing around bottles of wine - a very French way to deal with such an occasion.