A streetscape of New York, the King Kong attraction, the courthouse square from such movies as “Back to the Future” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a set used in “Spider-Man 2” and “Transformers,” and a archive vault were all engulfed in flames early Sunday at the Universal Studios back lot. According to the Los Angeles County Fire Chief, the flames and resulting massive damage were caused by workers using a blowtorch to apply shingles to the roof of a movie set building façade. However, the problem may have been complicated by low water pressure possibly increasing the time it took fire fighters to put out the blaze; although the studio’s water systems were up to current code, the fire fighters still had to use ponds and lakes at Universal Studios. The fire continued for many hours, over twelve, but did not spread past the back lot where it began. Luckily, no one was severely injured in the fire, the 40,000 to 50,000 videos from the vault that were destroyed in the fire had been duplicated, and none of the pricey and in demand soundstages were harmed. However, a number of firefighters and one sheriff’s deputy did incur some injuries from the fire. The theme park portion of the Universal Studios lot was able to reopen Monday and tourists applauded the firefighters still present as they passed by the burnt streetscapes. There is no word yet whether any personal injury lawsuits will be filed in relation to this immense fire.
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