Waterloo Regional Police and firefighters from the Wellesley Fire Department’s Linwood station were called to Orthodox Mennonite Church on Moser Young Road near Lawson Line at 5:40 a.m.
“When they got there … there were some walls still standing, but it had collapsed into itself already,” said Wellesley fire chief Paul Redman.
“Then we passed it off to the [Office of the Fire Marshal], and agreed with the suspicions … we’ve left it as an arson fire and turned it over to the regional police with their investigation now.”Damage from the fire was estimated at $75,000. Redman said that the wooden structure had been burning at least 15 or 20 minutes before the call came in.
The church had been used occasionally for functions such as funerals, but had seen little regular use for the past 30 years.
“A building with no hydro or utilities, just to start on fire … doesn’t really sit,” said Redman. “It’s not a huge loss, but is still a significant building. It is a church, and symbolic of a community. It’s important that we make sure a proper investigation gets done.”