Major Fire at Universal Studios Burns Landmarks

Blaze burns famed Hollywood locations from “Back to the Future” and “King Kong” to the “Psycho” house

By Ane Howard for Hollywood Today

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 6/1/08 — “The smoke was rising so high it could be seen from Hollywood Today’s bureau”, states editor-in-chief Jeffrey Jolson-Colburn. The inferno started around 4:30 a.m. at the 400-acre property, and even though it has been contained, as stated by Los Angeles County Fire Chief, Michael Freeman, it is still smoking as this story goes to print.

Studio head Ron Meyers said the main vault of Universal’s film collection was saved by firefighters, though the video library was damaged. “We were very lucky today, it could have been much worse.” He said rumors of a bomb appeared unwarranted.
Regardless, Hollywood Today has received confirmation that the MTV Movie Awards hosted by Mike Myers, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Pacific time, with the red carpet rolling out at 3 p.m., will go on, regardless of its proximity to the blaze.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and is under investigation. Very little is known besides that a commercial was being shot at the time it started but it doesn’t seem to be related to the blaze. The fire destroyed various iconic sets and props from “Back to the Future,” such as courthouse square from “Back to the Future”, and the clock from which Michael J. Fox’s future depended on. Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Daryl Jacobs reported that two mock New York and New England streets used for filmmaking and as tourist attraction were destroyed.
One the tourist’s favorite back lot attractions damaged was featured in “Psycho.” Also reported as damaged during the fire are between 40,000 to 50,000 videos and reels of American classics films and TV magic. Luckily, copies are kept in a different location.

Universal Studios is located nine miles north of downtown Los Angeles and is a gigantic tourist attraction, in addition to being a filmmaking landmark.
More than 100 firefighters worked incessantly since dawn to prevent it to spreading to surrounding areas. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries.


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