http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=572967Firefighters have battled a blaze at Hollywood's famed Universal Studios that ravaged some of the legendary film studio's most iconic stage sets and tourist attractions.
The blaze on Universal City's backlot destroyed various soundstages and a streetscape depicting New York City, causing tens of millions of dollars worth of damage.
A column of thick black smoke rose from the fire at Universal City, some 15km north of Los Angeles, home of Universal Studios' amusement park as its working movie and television studios.
Three firefighters were injured battling the blaze, according to officials, as several helicopters dropped water on the blaze early Sunday.
Los Angeles County Fire Department chief Michael Freeman said that more than 400 firefighters were trying to extinguish the fire.
The first reports of the fire, which required helicopters and hundreds of firefighters to contain, came at 9.45pm (AEST).
"It began in the backlot area on New York street," Freeman told reporters. "It moved through that area very fast."
He added that one popular attraction at Universal City, the King Kong exhibit, was completely destroyed, as was a set from the hit film Back to the Future, and a video vault containing tens of thousands of videos and reels.
But Ron Meyer, CEO at Universal Studios, said the studio archive did not suffer irreversible losses.
"The video library was affected and damaged, but our main vault with the motions pictures negatives was not," Meyer said.
"Nothing irreplaceable is lost," he said. "We were very lucky. It's a bad situation but it could have been a lot worse."
Firefighters were trying to keep the blaze from spreading eastward to the bucolic Los Angeles retreat Griffith Park, where officials feared thick brush and vegetation could further feed the conflagration.