Authorities are looking for answers after a massive fire destroyed the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

PARIS – A massive fundraising campaign was launched Tuesday to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral, hours after a big fire merged the iconic 800-year-old worship house in the French capital.

The Paris Fire Service announced on Twitter that firefighters "came to grips with" the flame early Tuesday, more than nine hours after they began the effort. It is said that almost 400 firefighters had hit inferno and two police officers and a firefighter had been injured slightly.

The spokesman for the Paris firefighters says that "the whole fire is out" and that the emergency services "examined the movements of the structures and extinguished smoldering of debris," according to media reports.

Officials said Monday that the fire could be linked to renovation work – the cathedral was in the midst of a $ 6.8 million renovation project.

French prosecutors said investigators would visit the Notre Dame Tuesday to talk to the people who worked on the renovation to try to gather information about what might have caused the fire

French President Emmanuel Macron rushing to the flame site Monday. Announcing the fundraising efforts he promised to reconstruct the Church.

"We will rebuild this cathedral together and it is undoubtedly part of the French fate and the project we will have over the next few years," Macron said.

French billionaire Francois Henri Pinault promised $ 113 million to reconstruct the cathedral, while second millionaire Bernard Arnault and his LVMH group pledged $ 226 million.

People stop seeing and photographing the Cathedral of Notre Dame after the fire in Paris, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Experts assess the black shell of Paris' iconic Notre Dame cathedral to determine the next step to save what remains after a devastating fire destroyed much of the nearly 900 year old building. With the fire breaking out on Monday night and quickly consuming the cathedral that is now under control, attention is focused on ensuring the structural integrity of the remaining building. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu, AP)

"The Arnault family and the LVMH group would like to show their solidarity at this time of national tragedy and adhere to building this extraordinary cathedral, which is a symbol [19659017] More: Views of the Notre Dame Cathedral before, after and under blaze

More: "Worst has been avoided": Notre Dame Cathedral's structure is saved; the president's promises to rebuild

The Vatican said that Pope Francis "prayed for French Catholics and for the Parisians in Paris before the terrible fire that has hardened the Notre-Dame Cathedral," Agence France-Presse reported.

British Queen Elizabeth II said in a message to Macron: "My thoughts and prayers are with those worshiping in the cathedral and throughout France during this difficult time."


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The fire collapsed the cathedral's sprout and spread to one of its rectangular towers in a spectacle seen by horror of frightened spectators. But Jean-Claude Gallet, the fire brigade for Paris, said that the church's main structure had been saved after firefighters had prevented the flames from spreading to the northern monastery.

Emmanuel Gregoire, Vice Mayor of Paris, told BFMTV on Tuesday that a plan to protect Notre Dames treasure wa's successful and the famous 19th century organ remained intact. He described "tremendous relief" in the preparation of pieces like Christ's alleged crown.

The city's prosecutor announced that they initiated an investigation. More: Cathedral Resurrection: A Look At Famous Houses Of Worship Reborn After Destruction

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However, the damage to the building was extensive. "Two-thirds of the roof has ravaged," Gallet said.

It was a dramatic shift from previous Monday when officials predicted that the structure would burn to the ground.

"Everything is burning. Nothing will remain from the frame," Andre Finot, Notre Dame spokesman, had told French media. The 13th-century cathedral is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, immortalized by Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

The fire comes during Holy Week, an important event for the Catholic Church with Easter days gone.

Contributors: Jane Onyanga-Omara in London; Associated Press

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