St. James church building in Gatineau damaged by fire

The old building that used to house the St. James Anglican Church in Gatineau's Hull sector was damaged by fire overnight, but the blaze was contained to the lobby.

Century-old building, being turned into furniture store, suffers only smoke damage

A fire in the lobby of the St. James church building caused $70,000 damage. 0:39

The 113-year-old building that used to house the congregation of the St. James Anglican Church in Gatineau was engulfed in flames overnight, but the fire was contained to the church lobby, according to fire officials.

The Gatineau Fire Department said the fire began at the century-old church in the city’s Hull sector, which is being renovated and turned into a high-end furniture store, late Saturday night.

Gatineau fire officials continue to investigate the cause, while Gatineau police were also called to the scene.

Most of the damage was caused by smoke and the cost is estimated at $75,000, fire officials added.

Built in 1901, the St. James church is part of the Promenade du Portage heritage site. It was supposed to become a brewery a few years ago before that plan was cancelled and a new owner was found just last summer.

The owners are renovating the building but they are expected to keep much of the architecture at the new store, including the windows and support beams.