SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A mini Christmas tree that was growing in a Bullitt County Highway median was stolen early Sunday morning. But all is not lost, thanks to a local firefighter with some holiday spirit.

A small 2-foot tall tree is now growing where another small tree once stood.

Terrell Bryant is a firefighter with South East Bullitt Fire Department and noticed the small tree growing on Highway 245 above I-65 had disappeared.

“It was about seven this morning when I knew it was gone,” Bryant said. “That low-life somebody done stole it.”

For weeks, people had been stopping by the tree to decorate it. But early Sunday morning the only things left were a few ornaments.

“They just tossed it right out of the ground. They took a lot of the ornaments, lights, and garland with them when they stole it,” Bryant said.

Bryant knew the Grinch would not take away Bullitt County’s Christmas spirit so he went to his own backyard, dug out a sapling pine tree, and planted along the roadway where the original proudly stood.

The ornaments are back up and now a nativity scene and handmade notes of inspiration are at its base.

“If they steal this tree I got a whole woods full of them and I will just keep replacing them with other little trees,” Bryant said with a laugh.

The little tree has had a big impact on the community – it was a spot of joy for so many people who would stop by to check on it and take photos.

Bryant says he had a feeling someone would eventually damage or steal the first one but now that it’s happened, he’s has no desire to hear from that person.

“I don’t care to know who did it. They’re the ones that have to live with it, I don’t,” said Bryant with tears in his eyes. “It’s a little ray of light and hope in the county. Bullitt county ... we are better than that.”

Bryant hopes the county will let the tree stay in the median so it can grow and be decorated again next year.

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