When the fire broke out Monday evening and quickly spread inside the iconic cathedral, it cloaked the city in an almost immediate sense of mourning. The smoke filled the sky and could be seen from all over Paris, and throngs of curious onlookers poured into the streets to see it. In footage that documents the moment the church spire and roof collapsed, cries of shock and horror can be heard echoing in the nearby crowds watching.
While the cause of the fire is still unknown and the extent of the damage remains to be seen, it's become clear that much of the interior of Notre Dame is gone. Fortunately, there are early reports that crews were able to rescue a good deal of the sacred art inside before the flames could get to them, and that the structure itself may have been saved from total destruction.
For now, though, this heartbreaking homage to the beloved site seems more than appropriate.