The demolition of a burnt-out west Quebec church began today despite a fight from local residents hoping to save parts of the 120-year-old stone building.

Workers were tearing down parts of St. Paul's Catholic Church Wednesday, including a large statue, after a fire gutted the building on June 11, 2009.

The parish had hoped to rebuild the church using the original stone walls but the cost would have been $4 million. The community could not raise that amount.

The demolition will make room for a brand new church.

The fire was believed to be arson and one man was arrested, but no one was ever charged.