A COUNTY councillor who watched the devastating Notre-Dame fire first-hand has described people “visibly upset and crying” as the scene unfolded.

Labour councillor Christopher Bloore was holidaying with his wife Charlotte in Paris when the fire broke out at the cathedral on Monday evening.

The blaze, which was declared fully extinguished 15 hours after it began at 6.30pm, ravaged the 850-year-old building’s roof and caused its spire to collapse.

Cllr Bloore told the Worcester News on Tuesday morning: “We were walking back to our hotel along the Seine and you could just see the smoke and flames getting worse and engulfing the entire structure.

“I watched the tower and roof collapse followed by huge plumes of smoke.”

The Bromsgrove South ward councillor and chairman of overview and scrutiny performance board went on to say: “Huge crowds gathered on the bridges over the Seine and people were visibly upset and crying.

“The next thirty minutes or so was just a constant stream of blue lights heading towards the scene and police officers pushing huge crowds away from the scene.”

Asked what the mood was like on Tuesday morning, he said: “Today the mood is a lot better because of the reports that the majority of the building has been saved.

“They put the fire out without damaging the structure. Streets are filled with the world’s media and tourists watching as firefighters and engineers assess the damage.”

Cllr Bloore and his wife arrived in Paris on Monday to attend a talk by former First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday evening, and are due home on Wednesday.

Hundreds of millions of euros have already been pledged to help rebuild the landmark building’s main stone structure, including its two towers.

The cause of the fire is not yet clear, though officials from Paris prosecutor’s office have said it could be linked to extensive renovation works taking place.

With the flames quickly reaching the roof and destroying the wooden interior before toppling the tower, fears grew that the cathedral’s famous towers may also be destroyed.

However, despite several fires beginning in the towers, French Interior Minister Laurent Nuñez said they were successfully stopped before they could spread.

The fire service said it was fully extinguished by 10am local time.