On Monday, WAAY 31 spoke with a Huntsville family in Paris witnessing a historic tragedy, the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on fire in the central part of the city.
The Moore family said people are lining the streets near the cathedral. The family describes it as an incredibly somber scene.
"Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people. All of the traffic that shut off this area. People are getting out and walking," said Mitchell Moore.
The family is in Paris for business, but took a few days to see the sights. They'll be back in Huntsville on Tuesday.
"There's a lot of people that are upset. A lot of the bridges along the same river that have a view to the cathedral are packed with people, not just tourists, but locals as well. And, of course everyone taking pictures, and just an overall sad mood," said Mitchell Moore.
The Moore family had just visited Notre Dame on Saturday, two days before this devastating fire. They told WAAY 31 they were on their way to dinner when they saw the smoke. At first, they didn't know what was happening.
"We were kind of hoping that it wasn't terrorism and wondering whether it was just a regular fire," said Moore.
The Associated Press reported French officials have ruled out terrorism and arson and will investigate to determine the cause.
During WAAY 31's phone call with Moore, you could hear sirens, "Ambulances and police cars headed that direction," said Moore.
Seeing the iconic building on fire was hard to watch for Moore, "To see it burn is truly a tragedy," said Moore.
Fire crews in Paris were able to save priceless works of art and historical artifacts from inside the cathedral.