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2008 Universal Studios fire

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2008 Universal Studios fire
A large plume of gray smoke rises from a complex of buildings in a wooded area, seen from slightly above
The Courthouse facade is visible to the left of the smoke plume from the 2008 fire
DateJune 1, 2008; 12 years ago (2008-06-01)
LocationUniversal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California
CauseHeated asphalt shingle
OutcomeDestruction of three acres of Universal backlot, King Kong Encounter, original master tapes for popular music, and digital TV and movie backups
Non-fatal injuries17

On June 1, 2008, a fire broke out on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood, an American movie studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California.

The fire began when a worker used a blowtorch to warm shingles.[1][2] He left before checking that all spots had cooled, and a three-alarm fire broke out.

Nine firefighters and a Los Angeles County sheriffs' deputy sustained minor injuries. The fire ended after 12 hours.

Universal Pictures claimed that the fire destroyed a three-acre (1.2 ha) portion of the Universal backlot, including the ride King Kong Encounter and 40,000 to 50,000 archived digital video and movie copies.

A 2019 New York Times article said that the fire also destroyed 118,000 to 175,000 audio master tapes belonging to Universal Music Group (UMG).[3] This included original recordings belonging to some of the best-selling artists worldwide.[4]

List of artists affected