PARIS, FRANCE (CBSDFW.COM) – Images of the massive fire destroying the Notre Dame cathedral tug at Kathleen Leos’ heart.

“It feels like Notre Dame was a living structure. In many ways, it was,” she said.

Four years ago, the Bishop Lynch High School choir director accepted an invite to have her students perform inside the iconic church in Paris.

“I remember a student talking to me about how she felt… realizing that she was now part of Notre Dame and the history of music in the cathedral. A life changing experience,” said Leos.

Father Tom Cloherty from Prince of Peace Catholic Church visited the cathedral just two weeks ago.

“This is where eight and a half centuries of people have proclaimed the faith,” he said. “As Catholics, this is the one of the lead hallmarks of our church buildings and to see that go up in flames is heartbreaking, very heartbreaking.”

Eric Ligon, an associate dean at the University of North Texas, is in Paris for his wedding anniversary and witnessed the cathedral burning.

“It’s incredibly somber and there are people crying as we watch the fire and the crowd is growing denser and denser and denser,” he said. “When the spire came down, the crowd, a cry went out from the crowd.”