Fire Ravages Universal Studios Backlot

King Kong exhibit burns, 2 outdoor sets also ablaze
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2008 11:44 AM CDT
In this image from video, firefighters battle a blaze at Universal Studios early Sunday, June 1, 2008 in Universal City, Calif.    (AP Photo/APTN)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Fire broke out early this morning in the Universal Studios backlot, destroying priceless movie memorabilia and damaging at least one sound stage and two outdoor sets, reports the Los Angeles Times. The blaze began during filming on the lot, and consumed the King Kong exhibit that has long been a feature of the backlot tour, say fire department officials.

The 300 firefighters on the case are getting help from helicopters to make an "aggressive attack" on the flames. Part of the reason for the fire's intensity is the timber-rich New York City and New England sets it has been consuming. "It's like a movie set, a disaster film," says an LA city councilman.