Local man recreates light display after fire destroys prize collection

COURTESY: ANNICK JOSEPH (KIEM)

EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM)-A local man recreates his Christmas light display after a fire destroys his prize decoration collection this past summer.

Eureka resident Ryan Craig was at a loss for words when he realized what had happened.

“I was in shock from the fire, and then I realized that I lost all my tools,” he said.

But that wasn’t all, also lost, an irreplaceable collection that took Craig years to build – a collection he started in 2007.

“I thought, oh, all my Christmas decorations are in the garage,” Craig said. “I’ve lost all of them, my computer, with all my Christmas music.”

On July 5th – Craig and his family woke–up to his garage up in flames after he says, an illegal firework landed next to the structure.

“I thought maybe this is a sign, maybe I don’t need to do this anymore,” he said.  

His sister Heather Omwake says, not having a light show, was not an option.

“My daughters and my niece both looked at my brother and said, we have to have Christmas lights, he put that to the side, building his garage and made sure everyone could have the Christmas spirit back,” she said.

Eureka resident Joshua Peterson Jr. stops by every year with his family.

“Usually this is our first stop every year, and we wait here and usually listen to a couple of songs.”

As has, Don Chin, who lives nearby.

“It has the live radio you can listen to, so if you have your car with you, you can turn it on to this FM station and all the music is synchronized,” he said.

The street was littered with stop-and-go traffic, pausing to take in a Christmas song or two, as lights could be seen dancing in rhythm with the holiday tunes.

“We’re looking at all of these beautiful Christmas lights, you can just tell people have put a lot of hours in on them, it’s really nice,” said a passerby who only wanted to go by his first name, Mike.

“This is something the community can still have,” said Omwake. “I feel very prideful and honored that he wanted to help his community.”

The Craig family says, the display may not look the same, and they’re OK with that.

“We can create new memories with this, but I feel like it will be good, I still miss the old ones, but these ones are really good too,” said Addison Craig.  

The display, located on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Myrtle Town area, will remain up until the first of the year.