The fire, which is believed to have started near some renovations within the building, spread quickly, engulfing the historic church. Although it is not yet clear what the extent of the damage is, reports from the scene claim that the roof has collapsed and that much of the remainder of the building is still burning.
Prior to a roundtable discussion on the economy in Minnesota on Monday afternoon, Trump addressed the horrific fire, calling it a “terrible sight to behold.”
Watch the video below:
Pres. Trump calls Notre Dame fire "a terrible sight to behold."
— ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2019
“The fire that they’re having at Notre Dame Cathedral is something like few people have witnessed. And when we left the plane, it was burning at a level that you rarely see a fire burn. It’s one of the great treasures of the world. The greatest artists in the world. […] That is beyond countries, that is beyond anything. That’s a part of our growing up, it’s a part of our culture. It’s a part of our lives.”
Trump called the fire a “terrible scene,” noting that authorities believe the fire was caused by the renovations that were occurring within the building.
“It’s a terrible scene. They think it was caused by — at this moment, they don’t know — but they think it was caused by renovation,” Trump said, adding, “And I hope that’s the reason.”
President Trump wasn’t alone as several prominent Republicans joined him to express their “heartbreak” over the fire.
Take a look:
My heart breaks for the people of Paris after seeing the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. Praying for everyone’s safety.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 15, 2019
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 15, 2019
Notre Dame is an iconic symbol of faith to people all over the world – and it is heartbreaking to see a house of God in flames. Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters on the scene and all the people of Paris. https://t.co/5Pecbf02em
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 15, 2019
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) April 15, 2019
Although there are reports from the French Ministry that the building may be beyond saving, French reporter Nicolas Delesalle spoke to a priest who reported that they were able to save much of the artwork from inside the cathedral.
More than 400 firefighters are battling the blaze in a fight that is expected to continue. French prosecutors have opened an investigation into the fire.
Correction [4/16/19, 2:44 p.m. ET]: Previously, this story inaccurately stated that Trump’s roundtable discussion in Minnesota occurred Wednesday. We have corrected the error.