The statue of Saint Paul preserved from a fire


On the night of June 10-11, 2009, St. Paul’s Church in the Aylmer sector of the Archdiocese of Gatineau was destroyed by arson. The Gatineau police said they found a gas can near the building and observed signs of forced entry.

The fire started at approximately 1:40 a.m. and quickly engulfed the building. The bell tower subsequently collapsed outside the building. No one was injured. Approximately 75 firefighters were deployed to the scene to extinguish the flames. Firefighters from Ottawa were called to assist. The rectory was not affected by the fire. Nearby residences were evacuated.

Father André Muamba, of St. Paul’s Church, said he was shocked and saddened for his congregation. “St. Paul’s Church meant a lot to them. It was a place to which their hearts remained very attached. Many of their family events took place there and they have very lasting memories of it,” says André Muamba.

Surprisingly, the statue of St. Paul perched on the bell tower was spared in the fire. You can see that the bell tower was entirely in flames, and the statue should have melted. Today, it is installed in the new Saint-Paul church in Gatineau.