[DML] Fire
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[DML] Fire



UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. ? 
Firefighters worked Sunday to contain a massive blaze that broke out on a lot at Universal Studios, engulfing the "Back to the Future" set, the King Kong exhibit and a video vault.


Los Angeles fire chief Michael Freeman said over 400 city and county firefighters were mobilized to battle the fire, which broke out at around 4 a.m. Sunday on a sound stage on a back lot.

"The fire moved through the area extremely fast," Freeman said.

The damage included the backlot area, known as New York Street, Court House Square ?which was a set for the film "Back to the Future" ? and the King Kong exhibit. Also destroyed was a video vault located behind the street facades, Freeman said.

Three firefighters also suffered minor injuries in the blaze.

Fire investigators are looking into the cause of the fire, and have not yet ruled out arson. Freeman said there was no filming when the fire broke out, despite earlier reports.

Firefighters experienced some problems with water pressure and were assisted by two firefighting helicopters that dropped water onto the burning structures.

Thick columns of smoke have been seen rising thousands of feet into the air, and one person described the scene as "looking like a bomb had exploded in the San Fernando Valley."

Freeman said the black smoke is a result of plastic video containers burning in the vault, which firefighters worked to save. ?They moved 100 and 100 of containers out of that structure,? he said.

Ron Meyer, President and Chief Operating Officer at Universal Studios, said that the main vault containing film masters was not damaged.

?We were really lucky today.? Meyer said. ?Nothing irreplaceable was lost.?

Meyer said despite the fire damage, the theme park would open Sunday, though the studio tour sites and other attractions would be affected.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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