Props and sets from the Wallace and Gromit films are believed to have been destroyed in a warehouse blaze. Fire crews were called to Oscar-winning Aardman Animations' Bristol site, which contained the firm's "entire history", early on Monday October 10. Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park said it was "dreadful" for the company but comparatively "not a big deal". The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the new Wallace and Gromit film, has just gone to the top of the US box office chart. Company spokesman Arthur Sheriff said: "It couldn't have come on a worse day - we were supposed to be celebrating, but instead our history has disappeared in a couple of hours. "Everything has gone, from as far back as Morph and all the way through to Chicken Run, including all the Wallace and Gromit films, Creature Comforts, it's all there. Everyone is devastated." Mr Park, who won Oscars for animations such as The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, said: "Even though its precious stuff and nostalgic - and its dreadful news for the company, in the light of other tragedies it's not a big deal." Fire crews were called to the building near the city's Temple Meads station at about 6 am on Monday. They were unable to stop all three floors inside collapsing.
Avon Fire Service Divisional Officer Geoff Cater said: "All three floors inside have collapsed and the exterior walls are unstable. "We couldn't commit people inside, so we are fighting the fire from the outside which is more time consuming." At the height of the blaze, flames were reaching 100ft, he added. Nobody was in the building when the fire broke out. The area has been sealed off and crews are expected to remain at the scene for the rest of the day.
Personally, I don't know how Nick Park can be so philosophical. I know that on a scale of disasters, it doesn't compare to hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunami, but I feel pretty devastated myself, and it's not even several years of my work that's gone up in flames !