Fire has erased an Ohio Valley landmark, but for those who knew what went on in there, the memories will remain.
The Creegan Co. building was torn down in recent days following a fire that destroyed the structure on Dec. 11. Firefighters from Steubenville, Weirton and several other surrounding communities fought bravely in cold temperatures to save adjacent apartments and businesses.
But the Creegan Co. structure, which once brightly gave Christmas cheer through its decorated showroom at Seventh and Washington streets, is gone.
The building was truly a world treasure, at one time supplying animatronic displays around the globe. There was hardly a shopping mall one could enter in the 1970s and 1980s that didn't have a cheery display of Creegan Co.'s motorized animals and characters at work, at Christmas and other times of the year.
The building housed the dreams and work of George Creegan and his family and staff for more than 50 years.
Time and technology took its toll on the business and Creegan himself led the sale of many of the firm's assets in recent years.
But children of a certain age know the joy of talking Christmas trees, Easter Bunnies, various children's characters led by Crow, who had a TV show, and more.
We salute the firefighters who saved a city block and recognize their efforts were nothing short of heroic, given the sub-freezing temperatures in which they worked.
We also feel a loss at the destruction of that special building where happy characters were brought to life for children the world over.