LATEST: The creator of the Wallace And Gromit films had the original plasticine figures of the cartoon twosome with him when a warehouse blaze destroyed the rest of the animated movies' history.

Academy Award winner Nick Park is relieved he managed to save something from the fire, which ravaged all three floors of his Aardman Animations site in Bristol, England, yesterday (10OCT05).

He says, "These are the Wallace and Gromit from the film. They have been going with me on a world tour. I keep them safe in a special suitcase.

"They were with me at my house when the fire happened.

"Apparently we have lost everything, including things like Wallace and Gromit in their sidecar."

In a cruel twist of fate, Park had just discovered the latest Wallace and Gromit movie, THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, had debuted at the top of the US box-office chart when he was told news of the fire.

He adds, "I rang up the office to find out how the film had done in the US. I was told the great news that it was number one and then they said there was some bad news as well."

Meanwhile, police are investigating the possibility the blaze could have been started deliberately.

A spokeswoman says, "Our arson task force has been alerted and we are keeping a close eye on things. It may turn out to be suspicious."