Notre Dame towers declared safe from fire

PARIS (AP) — A French official and the Paris fire chief say they think Notre Dame Cathedral’s landmark rectangular towers have been saved from the fire that caused horrific damage.

Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said late Monday that authorities remain “prudent” but are “much more optimistic” than earlier in the night.

Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet said a major accomplishment of hundreds of firefighters was stopping the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry.

Gallet says two-thirds of Notre Dame’s roofing “has been ravaged.” He says one firefighter was injured.

He says fire crews will keep working overnight to cool down the structure.

The Paris prosecutors’ office says investigators are treating the blaze as an accident for now. The prosecutors’ office said they have ruled out arson, including possible terror-related motives.

Prosecutors say Paris police will conduct an investigation into “involuntary destruction caused by fire.”