A fire official has since confirmed that the fire has been contained and the structure will be "saved."
“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Trump wrote on Twitter Monday.
“Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
Trump’s suggestion was promptly rejected by French official Laurent Nuñez during a news conference held four hours after the fire.
Nuñez told reporters that Trump’s “water tanker” idea was considered, but was ruled out as an option by civil security units because the impact of water on the site itself, risked further weakening of the cathedral structure.
France’s Civil Security agency also explained their decision on Twitter writing, “Dumping water from a plane on this type of building would risk bringing down the whole edifice.”
The blaze began around 6:30 p.m. local time on Monday, and has since destroyed the cathedral’s spire and part of its roof.
Pedestrians flooded the streets to watch the blaze, many in tears, one Paris resident tells PEOPLE. On Monday evening, a crowd gathered to sing “Ave Maria” near the cathedral.
Local TV network BFM-TV is reporting that the fire was “possibly linked” to the renovation of the building and began in the rafters, but there were no workers scheduled to be on the rooftop scaffolding at the hour the fire broke out. As of now, the cause of the fire is not clear, a spokesman for the cathedral told the New York Times.
AFP News Agency later reported that the fire had been contained and the structure will be “saved.”
According to a tweet from the AFP, an official confirmed that the main structure of the historic building has been “saved and preserved,” despite the spire and roof being consumed by flames and collapsing earlier in the evening.
“The worst has been avoided, but the battle isn’t fully won yet,” French President Emmanuel Macron told crowds in a speech given outside of the church Monday night.
He promised that the cathedral will be rebuilt. “It is with pride I tell you tonight we will rebuild this cathedral . . . we will rebuild Notre Dame because it is what the French expect of us, it is what our history deserves, it is, in the deepest sense, our destiny,” he said.
The cathedral, known as “the House of God and the abode of men,” is over 800 years old. It was at the center of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre–Dame, and the site of the crowning of Henry VI of England and Napoleon.
From its beautiful architecture to its historical significance, it has remained one of France’s most prominent landmarks, on par with the Eiffel Tower. Following the news of the fire, many celebrities expressed their sadness at the gut-wrenching sight.
“I’m weeping. Our gift of light,” she wrote. “Notre Dame on fire. My heart is breaking. My grandmother’s and mother’s heart home.”