Large Fire Breaks Out On Lot At Universal Studios

A massive fire raged on a back lot filled with movie sets at Universal Studios early Sunday, spewing thick smoke as it devoured several buildings. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The blaze broke out just before dawn on a sound stage, Los Angeles County fire Capt. Frank Reynoso said.

The fire was contained in the back lot and more than 100 firefighters were working to ensure the flames didn't spread to nearby brush, Reynoso said. Two firefighting helicopters were helping in the effort.

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Daryl Jacobs said at least one building had burned and as many as three blocks of movie facades were destroyed, including two mock New York and New England streets.

Though the fire was contained, it was still raging, Jacobs said.

"The facades are constructed of heavy timber and they tend to burn quite freely," he said.

CNN reported three studio sets and the Cyclone ride were damaged. Jacobs could not confirm the report.

Filming might have been going on at the time the fire broke out and there was at least one explosion, Reynoso said.

Universal Studios is a theme park nine miles north of downtown Los Angeles that has thrill rides and a back lot where movies and television shows are filmed. Some of the more familiar attractions on the back lot are the clock tower from the "Back To The Future" movies and the house featured in "Psycho."

Universal Studios spokesman Elliot Sekuler said the park would open Sunday, though the studio tour would be affected by the blaze. He did not have any more details about the fire, but said he understood filming was going on when it broke out.


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