A fire broke out at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday afternoon. Firefighters have cleared the area, but smoke can be seen billowing from the landmark.

Flames from the fire are coming out of the two bell towers of the Cathedral, a witness of the fire told Reuters. The area is also being cleared of bystanders, according to a tweet from a city hall spokesman.

 


 

The cathedral was undergoing renovations at the time of the fire. It is unclear if the renovations led to the fire. Some sections of Notre-Dame are under scaffolding, and the bronze statutes that are normally located at the landmark were removed last week, CNBC reported.

 


 

There is no indication at this time what caused the fire, but the incident is being treated as an accident by the police, France 2 television reported. The mayor of Paris confirmed the fire in a tweet and asked that people keep away from the area.

Notre-Dame has a history that dates back to the 12th century. It was featured in Victor Hugo’s classic novel, the “Hunchback of Notre-Dame.” It attracts millions of tourists each year.

Notre Dame Fire A fire has broken out at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday afternoon. It is unknown at this time what caused the fire. Smoke billows as flames destroy the roof of the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019. - A major fire broke out at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris sending flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky, the fire service said. The flames and smoke plumed from the spire and roof of the gothic cathedral, visited by millions of people a year, where renovations are currently underway. Photo: Getty Images/FRANCOIS GUILLOT