French Ambassador to the United States Gérard Araud said France’s “national identity” is burning after the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris became engulfed in flames Monday evening.

"I can't think of the skyline of Paris without a spire of Notre Dame, you know, which has just collapsed,” Araud said in an interview with CNN. “It's 1,000 years of my history, of — it's our national identity, which is burning."

Authorities have not been able to determine what prompted the fire, which first began around 7 p.m. local time. According to Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot, “everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame.” The cathedral’s 300-foot spire fell and the roof collapsed amid the blaze.

The cathedral is hundreds of years old. Construction first began in 1163 and concluded in 1345. The cathedral was damaged during the French Revolution during the 1790s, but was repaired starting in 1845.

President Trump weighed in on the catastrophe, suggesting that “flying water tankers” could be employed to kill the fire.

"So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Trump tweeted. “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!"

Araud said the flames have reached 100 feet and that “it's not possible to use water tankers, which could only worsen the situation of the building.”

He added: "I think we have only to pray now."