Vanier Sugar Shack heavily damaged by fire
Roof of rare urban sugar shack partially collapsed in early morning blaze
An early morning fire caused the roof of a popular sugar shack in the heart of Vanier to partially collapse Thursday.
Ottawa Fire Services received a call at 5:53 a.m. about smoke and flames visible in the forest behind the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre on Pères-Blancs Avenue.
Firefighters said flames were shooting from the sugar shack's roof, part of which had collapsed by the time crews arrived.
Rare urban sugar shack
Fearing the structure was too unstable to enter, firefighters fought the flames from outside. Investigators will try to determine the cause of the fire today.
The structure sits within a maple grove, or sugar bush, in the heart of Vanier, and is described on Vanier Museopark's website as "one of the few active urban sugar shacks."
Volunteers harvest sap from the trees surrounding the building and transform it into maple syrup.
The general director of the Vanier Museopark said in an interview Thursday morning the community museum intends to rebuild the popular attraction.
"I'm shocked. I'm really just shocked that it is gone. But at the same time, I say the soul of the shack is still there," Jean Malavoy said.
"The volunteers are still there, the energy of the people to rebuild is there."