PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the fire that swept through Paris' Notre Dame cathedral (all times local):

3:00 p.m.

European Union chief Donald Tusk says the message of encouragement to France after the Notre Dame cathedral fire should be that "it's not the end of the world" and that the damage will be repaired.

Tusk told Polish reporters Tuesday in Strasbourg after a European Parliament debate on Brexit that it was the duty of all Europeans and all Poles to give France courage after this "dramatic" event.

Recalling his native Poland's efforts to rebuild its cities, many reduced to rubble, after World War II, Tusk said that his compatriots "have the right and the duty to say — You will manage, this is not the end of the world."

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2:50 p.m.

The director of UNESCO says expert work must be carried out immediately to protect Notre Dame Cathedral's remaining structure after a devastating fire.

Audrey Azoulay told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it's too early to say whether the treasured rose windows of Notre Dame are unscathed because art experts haven't been able to study the site yet after Monday's apparently accidental fire.

She said "the first 24, 48 hours" are crucial to protecting the stone and wood structure from water damage and assessing next steps. She warned that parts of the cathedral remain "extremely fragile," notably hundreds of tons of scaffolding set up around the cathedral spire that collapsed.

She said Notre Dame has "a particular place in the world's collective imagination." Notre Dame is part of a UNESCO heritage site that includes the surrounding quais and islands, and UNESCO has offered its expertise to help rebuild.

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2:45 p.m.

Jean-Marc Fournier, the chaplain of Paris fire brigade, is being hailed as a hero after taking part in the recovery of the Crown of Thorns at Notre Dame cathedral.

Speaking to reporters at the cathedral, Paris' 15th district mayor Philippe Goujon said Tuesday that Fournier insisted on being allowed to enter the edifice with fire fighters and played a role in the relic's rescue.

Fournier's bravery had been noted already after the Nov. 2015 Bataclan attack, when he tended to the injured and prayed over the dead.

According to an interview he gave to Christian Family magazine after that attack, Fournier was based in Germany and in the western Sarthe region, before joining the Paris fire brigade.

He also served in the Diocese of the French Armed Forces and was based for a time in Afghanistan.

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2:30 p.m.

Pope Francis is offering his prayers that Notre Dame, the "architectural gem of a collective memory," will once again be a shrine to the Catholic faith, a symbol of the French nation and a spiritual and architectural gift to humanity.

In a heartfelt note of condolences sent to Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit, Francis said Tuesday that the fire was particularly devastating given that it came during Holy Week, the somber days leading up to Easter during which Christians commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Francis wrote: "This catastrophe has gravely harmed a historic building. But I am aware that it has also affected a national symbol dear to the heart of Parisians and all French people in the diversity of their convictions. Because Notre Dame is the architectural gem of a collective memory, a place of gathering for great events, a witness of the faith and prayer of Catholics in the heart of the city."

Francis praised the courage of the firefighters and invoked his blessings on the nation.

2:10 p.m.

The chief architect of Cologne cathedral says it could take decades to repair the damage caused to the Notre Dame cathedral by a massive fire.

Peter Fuessenich, who oversees all construction work for the Gothic cathedral in the German city, told broadcaster RTL on Tuesday that "it will certainly take years, perhaps even decades, until the last damage caused by this terrible fire will be completely repaired."

Cologne cathedral was heavily damaged during World War II and work to repair it is still ongoing more than 70 years later.

Fuessenich called the fire in Paris "a tragedy with a European dimension" as many churches and cathedrals across the continent were inspired by buildings in France. He said that "when the last stone was set in Notre-Dame, the first one was laid here in Cologne, and in this respect it affects us all very much."

According to Fuessenich, the timbered roof of Cologne cathedral's was replaced with an iron frame during the 19th century, meaning a fire there would be less devastating.

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1:50 p.m.

A representative of one of the five companies which had been hired to work on renovations to the Notre Dame cathedral's roof says "we want more than anyone for light to be shed on the origin of this drama."

Julien le Bras' company has 12 workers involved in the refurbishment, though none were on site at the time of the fire.

Le Bras insisted that "all the security measures were respected," and "workers are participating in the investigation with no hesitation."

Various officials have suggested the fire could have been linked to the renovation work.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said the investigation is in its early stages and is focusing on hearings while the site is being secured.

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12:45 p.m.

Queen Elizabeth II has sent a message of sympathy to French President Emmanuel Macron after a fire ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

The British monarch says she was "deeply saddened" to see the cathedral ablaze, and expressed "sincere admiration to the emergency services who have risked their lives to try to save this important national monument."

British politicians and religious leaders have also sent messages of goodwill and offers of help in rebuilding the medieval building.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Church of England, tweeted an image of the fire-damaged cathedral with a passage from the Bible: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.'"

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12:30 p.m.

The Vatican's culture minister has offered words of hope to France following the devastating fire at Notre Dame, saying the cathedral is a "living creature" that has been reborn before and will continue to be the "beating heart" of France.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi opened a Vatican press conference with a personal reflection on the cathedral. He noted it was a place of encounter for both believers and nonbelievers drawn to its beauty and in some cases, such as the 19th century French poet Paul Claudel, were converted to the Catholic faith as a result.

Ravasi, whose office oversees the patrimony of the Catholic Church worldwide, said he was moved by the scenes of faithful and tourists alike weeping as Notre Dame went up in flames.

He suggested that the Vatican, particularly its art experts at the Vatican Museums, could play a possible role in the rebuilding given their expertise.

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12:25 p.m

The Paris prosecutor says there's no evidence of arson in the Notre Dame fire and that they're working on the assumption that the blaze was an accident.

Remy Heitz says the investigation will be "long and complex."

Speaking Tuesday, after the blaze was put out, he said 50 investigators are working on the probe. He says they will be interviewing workers from five companies that had been hired to work on renovations to the cathedral's roof, which was being repaired before the fire and which is where the flames first broke out.

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This version corrects that 50 investigators are working on the probe, not five.

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11:55 a.m.

An aide says that Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, has offered assistance and Polish specialists for the task of rebuilding Paris' Notre Dame cathedral that was damaged by fire.

Krzysztof Szczerski said Tuesday that Duda has written to French President Emmanuel Macron to express Poland's grief and solidarity at thet loss of heritage and cultural identity.

He said that in a gesture of "European solidarity" Duda offered Poland's experience and world-class experts in the reconstruction of historic buildings. Warsaw and many other places were rebuilt from World War II rubble.

He said that a Polish chapel at the cathedral was affected by the fire but was not damaged.

A precious copy of Poland's most revered icon as well as relicts of Polish-born pope St. John Paul II have been rescued.

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11:55 a.m.

Germany's foreign minister says his country is prepared to help with the rebuilding of Notre Dame cathedral after a devastating fire.

Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter that French President Emmanuel Macron has called for help from outside France and "Germany stands ready to do that in close friendship."

Maas added that "we are united in sorrow. Notre Dame is part of the cultural heritage of mankind and a symbol for Europe."

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11:40 a.m.

Egypt's top Muslim cleric has expressed sadness over the fire that destroyed part of the famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, describing it as a "historic architectural masterpiece."

Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's seat of learning, wrote on Facebook: "Our hearts are with our brothers in France."

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10:35 a.m.

Paris' deputy mayor says Notre Dame's organ, among the world's most famous and biggest, remains intact after a devastating fire at Paris' main cathedral.

Emmanuel Gregoire told BFMTV Tuesday that a plan to protect Notre Dame's treasures was rapidly and successfully activated.

The impressive organ dates to the 1730s and was constructed by Francois Thierry. It boasts an estimated 8,000 pipes.

Gregoire also described "enormous relief" at the salvaging of pieces such as the purported Crown of Christ.

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10:20 a.m.

Egypt's Coptic Church has expressed "profound sadness" over the massive blaze that burned parts of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

The head of Egypt's Copts, Pope Tawadroz II, said in a statement that the fire was a "huge loss for entire humanity" and affected "one of the most important monuments in the world."

The Foreign Ministry in Cairo also expressed "great regret and pain" over the fire, citing Notre Dame's "historical and culture value" for France and world heritage.

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10:15 a.m.

Pope Francis is praying for French Catholics and the Parisian population "under the shock of the terrible fire" that ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral.

Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said on Twitter on Tuesday that the pope "is close to France" and that he is offering prayers "for all those who are trying to cope with this dramatic situation."

The Vatican on Monday expressed "shock and sadness" at the fire that caused extensive damage to a cathedral that is "a symbol of Christianity in France and in the world."

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10 a.m.

Funding for the reconstruction of Notre Dame is piling up at a spectacular rate, with two of France's richest families together quickly pledging 300 million euros.

Businessman Francois-Henri Pinault and his billionaire father Francois Pinault said they were immediately giving 100 million euros from their company, Artemis, to help finance repairs to the cathedral devastated by fire Monday night.

A statement from Francois-Henri Pinault said: "This tragedy impacts all French people" and "everyone wants to restore life as quickly as possible to this jewel of our heritage."

That donation was then trumped by French tycoon Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH, which pledged 200 million euros.

LVMH called the cathedral a "symbol of France, its heritage and its unity."

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9:50 a.m.

European Union chief Donald Tusk is calling on the bloc's member countries to help France rebuild the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral saying the site in Paris is a symbol of what binds Europe together.

Tusk, who chairs summits of EU national leaders, told lawmakers Tuesday that the blaze reminds Europeans of "how much we can lose."

Tusk said: "At stake here is something more than just material help. The burning of the Notre Dame cathedral has again made us aware that we are bound by something more important and more profound than treaties."

Parliament President Antonio Tajani invited EU lawmakers, meeting in Strasbourg, France, to contribute their day's salary to help finance reconstruction.

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9:45 a.m.

A spokesman for Paris firefighters says that "the entire fire is out" at Notre Dame cathedral.

Gabriel Plus said Tuesday morning that emergency services are currently "surveying the movement of the structures and extinguishing smoldering residues."

Plus said that now the fire is out "this phase is for the experts" to plan how to consolidate the edifice.

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9:10 a.m.

French tycoon Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH have pledged 200 million euros ($226 million) for the reconstruction of Notre Dame, following a reported 100 million-euro donation from another French billionaire, Francois Pinault.

A statement Tuesday from LVMH said the luxury goods group and the Arnault family would make the donation to a rebuilding fund for the cathedral, which was consumed by flames Monday evening.

LVMH called the cathedral a "symbol of France, its heritage and its unity."

The Pinault family's earlier 100 million-euro donation was widely reported by French media.

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8:45 a.m.

A French cultural heritage expert says France no longer has trees big enough to replace ancient wooden beams that burned in the Notre Dame fire.

Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests.

Speaking Tuesday, he said the cathedral's roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because "we don't, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century."

He said the restoration work will have to use new technologies to rebuild the roof.

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8:40 a.m.

Experts are assessing the blackened shell of Paris' iconic Notre Dame cathedral to establish next steps to save what remains after a devastating fire destroyed much of the almost 900-year-old building.

With the fire that broke out Monday evening and quickly consumed the cathedral now under control, attention is turning to ensuring the structural integrity of the remaining building.

Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez announced that architects and other experts would meet at the cathedral early Tuesday "to determine if the structure is stable and if the firefighters can go inside to continue their work."

Officials consider the fire an accident, possibly as a result of restoration work taking place at the global architectural treasure, but that news has done nothing to ease the national mourning.

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on a fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (all times local):

10:20 p.m.

An official from the French Interior Ministry says 400 firefighters are at the scene of the fire but might they not be able to save Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Laurent Nunez, speaking to reporters at the scene, says the devastating fire is not limited yet to a certain area and might continue to expand. He says cause of fire at the cathedral is unknown.

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10:05 p.m.

A group of Americans from Maine had just finished visiting Notre Dame Cathedral and were in a nearby park when they heard it was on fire.

Freeport resident Lucy Soule, 22, said it was "weird" having been in the church right before this happened. "Now you can smell it burning."

Soule and her father, Win Soule, 58, and Libby Heselton, 53, are on a weeklong trip to Paris where they planned to "see all the sights" and had just finished their visit to Notre Dame. They had been in the cathedral at 5:30 p.m., about an hour before the fire.

Win told The Associated Press "Now I feel sorry for the people tomorrow. They won't be able to see it."

He says "it's incredible. I'm not religious, but this is clearly very important to a lot of people."

9:50 p.m.

The fire chief in Paris says it's unclear if city firefighters will be able to keep a fire at Notre Dame from spreading and causing more destruction.

Fire Chief Jean-Claude Gallet said outside the iconic cathedral as his crews battled the blaze from both the exterior and interior: "We are not sure we are capable of stopping the spreading" to Notre Dame's second tower and belfry.

Gallet said: "If it collapses, you can imagine how important the damage will be."

Flames already have reached one of Notre Dame's towers and brought down the church spire that extended 96-meters-high (315-feet.

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9:40 p.m.

The Vatican has issued a statement about the "terrible fire" that has "devastated" Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The Vatican said: "The Holy See has seen with shock and sadness the news of the terrible fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world."

The statement says the Vatican is praying for firefighters "and those who are doing everything possible to confront this dramatic situation" on Monday.

It also expressed "our closeness to French Catholics and the population of Paris, and we assure our prayers for firefighters

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9:05 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is treating the fire gutting Notre Dame Cathedral as a national emergency.

Macron reached the landmark cathedral on Monday evening and went straight into meetings at the nearby Paris police headquarters.

France's civil security agency says "all means" except for water-dropping aircraft were deployed to tackle the blaze.

The defense agency said those were unsuitable for fires like the one at Notre Dame because dumping water on the building could cause the whole structure to collapse.

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9:00 p.m.

The mammoth fire that destroyed the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral has spread to one of the church's landmark rectangular towers.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene of Monday's fire in Paris watched the flames blazing behind an oblong stained-glass window in the tower.

Paris police say fighters are inside the cathedral working to put the flames out while others work from the exterior. Red smoke is pouring out of the cathedral.

A Notre Dame spokesman said earlier that the church's entire wooden interior was in flames.

French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived at Notre Dame.

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8:35 p.m.

French writer and historian Camille Pascal says a massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral has caused "the destruction of invaluable heritage" and "we can be only horrified by what we see."

Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV: "It's been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris" and its bells pealed for both "happy and unfortunate events."

He recalled that Notre Dame's bells sounded a death knell after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris.

Authorities are investigating if renovation work on the cathedral's fire was a factor in starting or spreading the fire.

On Thursday, 16 religious statues were removed from the peak for the first time in over a century to be taken for cleaning and therefore escaped the blaze.

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8:30 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron says the fire consuming Notre Dame Cathedral is taking part of everyone in France with it.

Macron tweeted after the blaze broke out in the cathedral's spire on Monday he was sad to see "a part of us being on fire."

He extended "thoughts for all the Catholics and all the French."

His administration says Macron is heading to Notre Dame.

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PARIS (AP) — The Latest on a fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

The deputy mayor of Paris says Notre Dame Cathedral has suffered "colossal damages" from a fire that started in the spire and caused it to collapse.

Speaking to BFMTV, Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said first responders now trying to salvage the art and other priceless pieces stored in the cathedral.

A cathedral spokesman has said the entire wooden interior of the Notre Dame is burning and likely to be destroyed.

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8:15 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted about the fire engulfing Paris' iconic Notre Dame Cathedral.

Trump wrote on Twitter after the fire broke out Monday: "So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris" and made suggestions for how first responders should tackle it.

He said: "Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out," adding: "Must act quickly!"

Firefighters were trying to contain the fire when the cathedral's spire collapsed. Authorities say the wooden interior now is burning.

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8:05 p.m.

The soaring spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has collapsed in flames, and a church spokesman says the entire wooden interior of the 12th century landmark is burning and likely to be destroyed.

A massive fire engulfed the roof of the cathedral in the heart of the French capital on Monday afternoon as Parisians watched in horror.

Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media: "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame."

The cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

The cause of the blaze isn't yet known, but scaffolding could be seen on the roof of the burning structure. The spire was undergoing renovation.

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7:55 p.m.

Police in Paris say the cause of the massive fire enveloping the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral isn't yet known.

The French capital's police department said no deaths have been reported from Monday's fire. The police department didn't say anything about injuries.

The peak of the 12th century cathedral is undergoing a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project.

French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saying the fire is "potentially linked" to the renovation work.

Located on the Ile de la Cite in the center of Paris, the Gothic cathedral is among the most famous from the Middle Ages and was built on the ruins of two earlier churches.

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7:45 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed a televised speech to the nation because of a massive fire enveloping the top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Flames are shooting out of the roof behind the nave of the 12th cathedral, one of the world's most visited landmarks.

The sight stopped pedestrians in their tracks along the Seine River, which passes under the cathedral.

Authorities said the fire could be linked to renovation work. It's unclear if anyone has been hurt in the fire.

Macron's pre-recorded speech was set to be aired later Monday on French TV. Macron was expected to lay out his plan to address the citizen complaints that gave rise to the yellow vest protests that have rocked France since November.

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7:35 p.m.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says firefighters are trying to contain a "terrible fire" at the city's Notre Cathedral.

An AP reporter at the scene of Monday's fire says the roof at the back of the cathedral, behind the nave, is in flames and yellow-brown smoke and ash fill the sky.

Hidalgo urged residents of the French capital to stay away from the security perimeter around the Gothic-style church. The mayor says city officials are in touch with Roman Catholic diocese in Paris.

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7:30 p.m.

PARIS (AP) — Paris police say there is a fire at the French capital's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral.

Flames and black smoke were seen shooting on Monday from the base of the medieval church's spire, which is undergoing renovation.

French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saying the fire is "potentially linked" to the renovation work.