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St Sixte Catholic Church destroyed in Monday evening fire near Thurso, Que.

A 130-year-old church was destroyed by fire north of Thurso, Que., on Monday evening.

No one hurt, neighbours say

The St Sixte Church north of Thurso, Que., was destroyed by fire on Monday evening. 0:58

Residents of a small village north of Thurso, Que., are coming to grips with the destruction of their 130-year-old church after it went up in flames Monday evening.

The recently-renovated St. Sixte Catholic Church in Saint Sixtus, Que., was established in 1885, and housed both a municipal office and provided church services.

The flames spread quickly but no one was hurt, according to Roch Lafortune, a man who lives next to the church.

The fire started in a house adjacent to the church, then spread into the church itself, Lafortune said.

'You've got to rebuild'

The church was the centre of the community, said Clifford Unger, who also lived nearby.

The 130-year-old church was the "heart" of the municipality, said Mayor André Bélisle. (CBC Ottawa)
"We attended and we had our children baptized here and we helped bury people here as they died off. It's just an awful blow to see that go," said Unger.

"If you let the church go, the community isn't going to be far behind," he added. "You've got to rebuild something...we will help build this again."

Firefighters in the village called on neighbouring municipalities to send reinforcements, including Gatineau firefighters.

Archives also destroyed

The local archives were also destroyed in Monday's fire, said Mayor André Bélisle, who called the church the "heart" of the municipality.

"People in and around the municipality [are] very destroyed by it," Bélisle said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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