Early morning fire damages Vanier Sugar Shack

Museoparc Vanier is vowing to rebuild the popular Sugar Shack in the heart of Vanier after it was badly damaged in an early morning fire.

Ottawa Fire responded to a 911 call just before 6 a.m. reporting smoke and flames visible in the forest behind the Centre Richelieu-Vanier. The caller confirmed that the Vanier Sugar Shack was on fire.

When firefighters arrived on scene, flames were coming through the roof and a section of the roof structure had collapsed.

No injuries have been reported.

An Ottawa Fire investigator was on scene Thursday morning to determine the cause of the fire. The Ottawa Police Arson Unit is assisting the investigation into the fire.

"Our fire investigator did determine in this case that the fire first started outside of the building," said Carson Tharris, Ottawa Fire Public Information Officer.

In a message on Facebook, Vanier Museoparc said, "your thoughts and kind words mean a lot to all of us. The Museoparc team is humbled and grateful for the community support and to the first responders for their hard work."

Museoparc Director General Jean Malavoy vows the Sugar Shack will open again.

"We're going to tear it down and rebuild the Sugar Shack. That's our plan!"

Ottawa Fire shared photos of crew members trying to contain the blaze, which had broken through the roof.

#OttFire is on scene battling a structure fire at the Sugar Shack near the Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre. Firefighters arrived to find smoke and flames coming through the roof of the structure. There are no reported injuries #OttNews pic.twitter.com/7xDTMZCfIR

— Ottawa Fire Services (@OttFire) August 27, 2020  

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson reacted to the news on Twitter, calling the fire "sad and disturbing" while pledging the city would offer assitance for repair or rebuilding efforts.

This is very sad and disturbing news. The Vanier sugar shack is run by an amazing group of volunteers Let’s hope our great firefighters are able to save the building - And the city will be there to repair / rebuild this unique and beautiful building

— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) August 27, 2020

Onsite this morning. Terrible news to wake up to. The Sugar Shack is a landmark in Vanier run by an amazing group of volunteers. I am glad no one was injured. @OttFire is on scene to determine a cause. My office will keep the community updated. pic.twitter.com/qOyevp0vBU

— Mathieu Fleury (@MathieuFleury) August 27, 2020