Notre Dame fire: LVMH pledges €200m to repair historic cathedral

French billionaire Bernard Arnault has pledged €200m (£173m) to rebuild Notre Dame in Paris as donors flock to save the heritage site, which was gutted by a blaze yesterday.

Arnault, who is behind French firm LVMH, which controls fashion house Louis Vuitton and champagne maker Moet & Chandon, said the firms architects and creative team will also help repair the building.

Pictures from last night show the 19th-century spire ablaze, it later collapsed through the roof (Source: Getty)

It comes after Francois-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of Kering which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, pledged €100m to the efforts last night while the building was still on fire.

Pictures have emerged this morning showing the devastation following the fire at the 850-year-old cathedral.

Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze last night (Source: Getty)

Neighbours in Paris started noticing smoke billowing from the roof of Notre Dame at around 7pm last night local time.

Video from the scene later showed a spire, a 19th-century reconstruction of the original, engulfed in the flames. It later collapsed, seemingly into the cathedral itself, provoking gasps and screams from the gathered crowds.

The fire seemed to start on the roof and then spread into the cathedral's innards (Source: Getty)

The fire raged for several more hours, with firefighters managing to avoid complete calamity by saving priceless pieces of art and artefacts from the inferno. ReportsRead More – Source