Sight of Notre Dame in flames is "surreal"

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - People around the world responded quickly to the fire at Notre Dame.

French Ministry of the Interior/Twitter/MGN

Images of the historic cathedral in flames appeared on every news outlet as firefighters responded to the blaze. Because of the destruction people planning to visit the city of lights in the future will see a different city-scape, and for those who visited in the past, the scene brought back memories.

Elizabeth Hofer, a teacher at St. Thomas More High School visited the cathedral when she was a student. Her trip took place during Holy Week as well and she says it's "surreal," to see the cathedral in flames.

"The cathedral has gone under numerous renovations especially in the aftermath of the French revolution. So I guess I have hope that it will be able to be restored or preserved, but it is just very surreal to see video of the spire falling over and the roof is not really there anymore," says Hofer.

The cathedral dates back almost one thousand years and is one of Paris' most popular attractions, drawing an estimated 13 million visitors a year.