This past weekend was a bittersweet one for Aardman Animation. WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT finished #1 at the U.S. box office and a fire destroyed Aardman warehouse, which contained its entire history, reports CNN. The blaze broke out at approximately 5:30 am, with flames reaching 100 feet. The roof and three interior walls of the building in Bristol collapsed after the fire ravished the Victorian building. The cause of the blaze was being investigated. The structure housed Aardmans props and sets, including the first three WALLACE & GROMIT shorts and CHICKEN RUN.
"Today was supposed to be a day of celebration, with the news that WALLACE AND GROMIT had gone in at #1 at the U.S. box office, but instead our whole history has been wiped out," Aardman spokesman Arthur Sheriff said. "It's turned out to be a terrible day."
Wallace and Gromit's creator, Nick Park, said the earthquake in South Asia helped put the loss into perspective. "Even though it is a precious and nostalgic collection and valuable to the company, in light of other tragedies, today isn't a big deal," he said.