Witches, artwork burn in fire at home of Tucson artist known as ‘The Wall Guy’

The witches burned.

The witches’ tree, however, survived the blaze.

Gary Morrow, known to many Tucsonans as “The Wall Guy,” suffered a fire Tuesday evening at his northside home, a popular destination for his annual Halloween displays.

“Now I got to build the real house instead of the fake house,” the 72-year-old Morrow said Tuesday night as he waited for the Red Cross to show up to help him find a place to stay for the night.

The fire burned a wall of his north side home along with his decorations and his art and supplies he kept in the yard of his home near North Park Avenue and East Prince Road.

Morrow said he was already working on this year’s Halloween display, which draws hundreds of visitors each year.

The theme: Witches.

Witches were to dangle from a large tree on the south end of his yard.

He was planning to build a haunted house for the witches too, but some of the material for that project was lost in the fire.

Morrow said Tuesday that his annual Halloween display might be canceled this year.

A neighbor called Morrow shortly before 6 p.m. alerting him to a fire in his yard.

Morrow was able to leave his property through the front gate as he watched a tree go up in flames.

The Tucson Fire Department arrived quickly, but the damage was done.

Sculptures and Morrow’s 60-foot train sat next to his home coated in charcoal black, gray and white.

“It’s not hitting me yet until tomorrow when I see everything,” Morrow said Tuesday night.

“They tore up inside the house, they came in there and poked up the ceiling,” he said of firefighters.

The heat from the flames damaged the southern wall and windows, the Fire Department said. Fans were placed inside the home to reduce the smoke damage and the water and electricity were shut down, displacing Morrow temporarily.

Neighbors stopped by to ask Morrow what happened and to make sure he was OK.

A dinosaur sculpture close to his front door was not damaged. Neither was most of Morrow’s art on the north half of his yard.

Morrow dusted off tiles with an image of the Virgin Mary on his wall next to his front gate, directing the code enforcement employee to stick a neon green sign on the image to indicate it’s unsafe for anyone to be in the home.

While he’s unsure if he’ll be able to decorate for Halloween this year, he plans to continue the tradition in the future.

Morrow will also accept donations of witches to hang in his tree, in case he’s able to put together a display in time for Halloween.

“It puts a lot of smiles on people’s faces,” Morrow said.

Morrow said the fire won’t stop him from continuing his art.

“I need some help trying to replace my artwork,” Morrow said. “If anybody is interested in helping me do something for my art, it would be appreciated.”

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