The world was watching as a fire ripped through Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, causing its roof and spire to collapse.
Camille Le Caer, the owner of Pastry by Camille, was one of those people watching in disbelief.
"First feeling: emotional," said the Brittany, France native who lived in Paris for three years. "Emotional because my first love is for history before pastry."
Le Caer started his business in Buffalo two years ago and still has family back in France. He spent the much of Monday staying in contact with friends and parents for updates on the fire.
"The first question in your head is: is it all going to fall down?” added Le Caer. "[Are] the towers going to stay?"
The church is a popular tourist attraction, welcoming an estimate of up to 7,000 people daily.
"I think that might be one of the worse tragedies of this," said Hilbert College Honors Program Director, Amy Smith. "The art that might be lost".
Smith has taken several trips with students to Paris to learn about landmarks and their roles in local communities and internationally.
"Everybody that I've talked to people who've gone to France and they love it. It is a beautiful country," added Smith. I think because of some of our history with World War II, the beaches of Normandy, some of our servicemen losing their lives there, there will always be a connection between France and the United States. "
Father Paul Seil of Saint Bernadette Church in Orchard Park was also a frequent visitor of the cathedral.
"The building started when St. Francis of Assisi was walking the Earth," said Father Seil. "Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure — great saints prayed in that church."
Seil's last time visiting 'Our Lady of Paris' was in January 2019.
"Whether people are religious or not or Francophile or not, every art student has got to have a little bit of heartbreak to not be able to see this monument that stood for 800 years."
The question some are asking now is: can Notre Dame be restored?
"Yes," says Le Caer, "definitely."