Former Daily journo's insight after Notre Dame's ruin
SMOKE hung in the Parisian air as former Sunshine Coast Daily journalist Chloe Lyons arrived at Notre Dame to join the media scrum from every continent on Earth.
After receiving the midnight call at her London apartment, the 25-year-old packed her bags and jumped on the next flight to Paris to report on a devastating fire that threatened to destroy the 800-year-old cathedral by the Seine River.
Investigators believed a fire broke out in the scaffolding of the refurbished section of the Notre Dame Cathedral while 1500 people were inside.
The medieval structure quickly caught alight and the roof, some artefacts and the iconic spire were tragically claimed by the flames.
Photos from inside Notre Dame showed the central part of the Gothic cathedral was still intact, including three "irreplaceable" rose windows and the iconic golden cross.
Now a European correspondent with News Corp Australia, Ms Lyons was among hundreds of journalists and photographers from every continent on Earth all on the scene keeping the world updated.
She said streets around the cathedral were closed, police were directing traffic and holding back pedestrians, and trains to the area were shut down, making transport almost impossible.
Ms Lyons said people jostled to get as close as possible to the building, and even took selfies.
"People weren't as emotional as I expected," Ms Lyons said. "I think maybe the initial shock of the situation had worn off and turned into curiosity.
"The building was so special to so many people and I really think it's hurt them to see it partially destroyed."
Ms Lyons, who will be reporting from Paris for a couple of days, spoke to many citizens all devastated by the fire but hopeful of its recovery. "One Paris local I spoke with said he was glad the damage wasn't as bad as he thought it was while watching a live stream of the fire," she said.
"He said the cathedral would be taken care of during its rebuilding and that the people of Paris were strong enough to get through this."
Despite being worlds apart, Ms Lyons said the popular attraction was special to all those who visited.
"I never got the chance to visit before this, but the vibe I'm getting from people was that it was a very awe-inspiring place to be," she said.
"People seem confident that it's going to be re-built.
"There's already been a generous out-pouring of financial support from billionaires and multi-nationals."