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Fire in Universal Studios backlot

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The backlot at Universal City Studios

The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a fully involved structure fire on the back lot of Universal City Studios in Universal City, California which occurred shortly after dawn. Reports indicate a fire and a explosion occurred around 4:45 local time.

The fire continues to burn in the Universal Studios backlot, which is adjacent to the Universal Studios theme park.

The "New York Street" sound stage was completely destroyed and the Courthouse Square backlot from Back to the Future, an exhibit on the movie King Kong, the video vault, and a ride known as the "Cyclone" were damaged. County fire inspector Daryl Jacobs said at least three blocks of movie façades may have been destroyed.

More than 400 firefighters responded to the three-alarm fire, with helicopters dropping water on the blaze in an attempt to contain it. Three firefighters suffered minor burns, one reportedly from smoke exhaustion. No other injuries have been reported. Several urban search and rescue teams were dispatched to the area.

Daryl Jacobs said that the firefighters ran out of water at least twice while battling the flames. "There was an issue with water, but that has been rectified," Jacobs said. "They are shuttling water in." He also said firefighters encountered explosions from propane tanks as they entered the backlot.

County fire captain Frank Reynoso said the cause of the fire is still unknown. "It will be a while before we have it under control," Reynoso said.

The 2008 MTV Movie Awards, which are scheduled to be broadcast live from the studio theme park Sunday afternoon, will go on as planned, according to an MTV representative. The theme park's opening time has been moved back to noon local time, said a Los Angeles city councilman.


Sources