Firefighters in Surrey, B.C., had to work quickly to keep an early morning fire from spreading to nearby buildings but they could not save the church where the blaze began.
Surrey Fire Service assistant chief Shelley Morris says the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church was engulfed in flames by the time crews arrived at around 3:30 a.m.
She says the roof of the church has collapsed and the building was destroyed.
Firefighters drenched nearby trees and buildings to ensure embers could not ignite other properties in the dry conditions.
Crews were expected to remain at the scene for hours dealing with hot spots.
A cause of the fire is under investigation.