Live Video: Crews battle fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Tears are flowing in central Paris as the 850 year-old Notre Dame Cathedral is burning to the ground ahead of Easter weekend.

At first, hour the fire brigade in the city of lights was unable to get water or fire retardants to the main structures of the cathedral for nearly an hour. A small fire began in the back of the church that was under renovation and has spread throughout the entire cathedral.

Much of the upper portions, including the spire over the altar were fully engulfed in flames.
The spire and much of the roof have collapsed.

The 24-hundred foot spire that flew high above the medieval catholic cathedral, known as the “Our Lady of Paris” has collapsed.

Even during World War II the stained glass was removed so the Nazi Germans would not destroy it.

The center-stone of the gothic cathedral was laid in 1163 and it took 200 years of construction to complete.

Historians say three relics and untold religious artwork are most probably lost. Among the relics, a portion of the crown of thorns that adorned the head of Jesus Christ during his Crucifixion. The relic was placed in the spire to protect the church from a lightning strike.

So far there are no reports of injuries or deaths, however, French President Emmanuel Macron is declaring the situation a national emergency.

All water resources except for water-dropping aircraft were deployed to tackle the blaze.

Fourteen million people travel to Paris to see Notre Dame each year. This Easter weekend this nave which used to hold 9000 people will be empty.

This is a developing story and will be updated once more information becomes available.