More than two hundred fire-fighters battled a raging blaze on soundstages at the Universal Studios back lot on Sunday morning.
The fire started in the facade area of the New England and New York back lots. It was confirmed that there were also explosion on site as a result of nearby propane tanks.
A complete report of the damage is yet to be released, however a spokesman for the studio has confirmed that many sets were destroyed, especially those in the lot’s New York section, as well as the King Kong amusement that is featured on Universal Studios’ backlot tram tour. Reports also indicate that the part of the set from the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy may have been damaged in the blaze.
Universal President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Meyer estimated that 40,000 to 50,000 videos and reels were damaged in the video vault, but assured reporters that there are duplicates in a different location.
EXTRAs: Universal’s New York street was destroyed by fire once before, in 1990. The set was rebuilt with reengineered facades that were meant to offer fire retardation and protection, but a fire department spokesman said that today’s blaze overwhelmed those safety measures.