Monday, June 2, 2008


It looked like a scene from one of the Hollywood blockbusters filmed there every day.

But the fire that raged through Universal Studios yesterday was all too real.

About 500 Los Angeles firemen battled for hours to control the blaze in the back lots where movies have been made for almost a century.

Crowds watched from the neighbouring theme park as smoke billowed thousands of feet into the sky.

The fire devoured the Back to the Future set as well as the building housing the King Kong set, which is visited on the studio's tram tour.

Worryingly, firemen were seen passing spools of old films out of another blazing
storage building that contained 40,000 to 50,000 priceless original and master versions of movie classics dating back to the early days of Hollywood.

Fire chiefs said the video vault had been 'compromised' by the flames.

But NBC Universal president Ron Meyer said duplicates were stored at another location.

The fire broke out just before dawn on a sound-stage at the 400-acre studios, which were founded in 1912.

The exact cause was unknown but may have something to do with construction work on the site.


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