The Notre Dame Cathedral, located on a small island on the Seine River in Paris, has withstood the French Revolution, two world wars and the horrors of Nazi occupation. A devastating fire ripped through the 850-year-old landmark this past Monday, decimating its vaulting, roof and spire. The above drone footage, courtesy of Ruptly, shows the extent of the damage. A panorama from Gigarama offers up additional context.

Up to 500 firefighters battled the flames into the late evening on Monday. According to a recent article in The Guardian, the cathedral was 15 to 30 minutes away from complete destruction if efforts to prevent the fire from reaching the bell towers had not succeeded. The two towers did not incur any structural damage.

Some credit for this small triumph can be attributed to the use of DJI drones, a Mavic Pro and Matrice M210. Remote pilots were able to track the movement of the flames and inform firefighters on where they should aim the fire hoses. 'The drones allowed us to correctly use what we had at our disposal,' said fire brigade spokesman Gabriel Plus in comments translated from French.

French President Emanuel Macron has vowed to completely restore the structure in five years time, an ambitious goal considering that the Notre Dame Cathedral took several hundred years to build. Police say the fire was likely an accident caused in the wake of renovations, though a full investigation is currently underway.