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Emotional video shows Parisians singing ‘Ave Maria' in front of burning Notre Dame

Hundreds of firefighters were able to stop the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry.

A chilling video shows a group of people singing “Ave Maria” as they watch flames engulf the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

As massive plumes of yellow brown smoke fill the air above the church, ash can be seen falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of the beloved city.

The video was first shared on Twitter by French correspondent Ignacio Gil Monday evening.

The video was retweeted more than 25,000 times and triggered emotional responses from around the world.

The catastrophic fire that has engulfed the cathedral as it was undergoing renovations threatened one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world.

The blaze collapsed the cathedral's spire and spread to one of its landmark rectangular towers before being extinguished. Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet said two-thirds of the Notre Dame's roofing has been "ravaged." 

The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, immortalized by Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Prosecutors opened an investigation into the cause of the fire as Paris police said there were no reported deaths. Some 400 firefighters were battling the blaze well into the night.

RELATED: Firefighters may not be able to save Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

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