Spooky Update 2: Several readers have pointed out that /Film posted a “Save the Clock Tower” item just days ago. I’m not saying that one of you should start a Wikipedia entry elaborating on the “/Film effect,” but…

Faux Update: A DeLorean was not seen exiting the premises mid-flight as the blaze began.


Developing: Early this Sunday morning, a fire broke out across the back lot of Universal Studios in Los Angeles, torching several blocks of movie sets and tens of thousands of archived video tapes. Of note, the famous clock tower from Back to the Future (right) is said to have been damaged by the blaze, while the courthouse square set from the film has been reported destroyed. The cause of the fire is under investigation. From the AP

A large fire tore through a back lot at Universal Studios early Sunday, destroying a set from ”Back to the Future,” the King Kong exhibit and thousands of videos and reels in a vault. The blaze broke out on a sound stage at the theme park in a set featuring New York brownstones facades around 4:30 a.m. at the 400-acre property, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman said. The fire was contained to the lot but still burning several hours later.

Roughly 40,000 to 50,000 videos and reels were in the video vault, but there are duplicates stored in a different location, said Ron Meyer, NBC Universal president and chief operating officer. Firefighters managed to recover hundreds of those titles from the vault.

”Nothing is lost forever,” Meyer said.

Thankfully, no injuries have been reported at this time. Apparently, some Miami Vice tapes weren’t so lucky. At least three fireman have been reported injured, none critically. The park reopened today at noon. Click here to watch the epic blaze on YouTube.

Discuss: Any first hand reports?

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