A massive fire has gutted a church on Slack Road, just west of Merivale, and Ottawa Fire says it will need to be torn down.

Fire crews arrived just before 4:00 p.m. Thursday. The Living Waters Christian Assembly building at 105 Slack was fully involved. No one has been reported hurt. There is no word yet on what may have started the blaze, but a fire investigator has been called to the scene.

Some of the church’s parishioners came to the scene to watch firefighters battle the fire. The Church had planned a carols and candlelight event for Christmas Eve.


“The fire had progressed so rapidly, [firefighters] opted for a defensive attack from the start,” Ottawa Fire PIO Danielle Cardinal tells CTV News. “The building had been compromised by smoke and flames. There were a number of 911 calls, but they all came from bystanders. We have some of the congregation members here, but we have no concerns for persons inside.”

Late Thursday evening, an Ottawa Fire media release said firefighters remained on scene extinguishing the fire, adding that heavy equipment will be making its way to the site to demolish the remainder of the structure for security reasons.

"This is a large-scale loss," the statement said.

Photos and videos posted to social media show plumes of smoke rising high into the sky.




Mike Sloan was one of the first bystanders on the scene. He tells CTV News he stopped his car to check and see if anyone was in danger.

“I thought I’m one of the first people to see this. So, I turned around, parked the car and ran around back to see if there was anybody,” he says, “I was just concerned about their life. At that point, the church was just engulfed in flames and I could feel the heat radiating and I must have been 50 to 100 feet away.”

The family that runs the Church says they're not sure what to do now. They will be leaning on their faith especially hard this Christmas.

With files from CTV's Stefan Keyes.