Fire broke out early Sunday morning on the backlot of Universal Studios, causing "tens of millions of damage," according to one news report, and destroying the popular King Kong exhibit. KNBC.com, the Los Angeles affiliate of NBC Universal, has video of the fire. It was first reported at about 4:45 a.m. local time; Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Daryl Jacobs said that the blaze apparently began during a film shoot, destroying at least one building and as many as three blocks of movie facades.

Universal Studios is located in Universal City, California, just north of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills. The Universal Studios theme park and the very popular CityWalk, a retail/dining/theater complex, are both located at the top of the hill and are visible for miles.The studio backlot itself is located lower on the hill. A spokesman for Universal Studios said that the theme park and CityWalk were not damaged and would be open for business today.

One firefighter was reported injured. Among the buildings damaged, the most valuable may be the film vault, which is believed to have been destroyed. The Associated Press (via the New York Times) reports that the facades included New York street scenes and the street set for 1973's The Sting. The 2008 MTV Movie Awards are scheduled to be broadcast live from the park this afternoon. As of 10:00 a.m. Pacific time, the fire was still burning.
categories Movies, Cinematical