Universal Fire Triggered by Worker's Blowtorch

Los Angeles County Fire investigators found that three employees repairing a roof on one of the studio’s back lots caused the Universal Studios fire. The June 1 fire gutted 3.5 acres including the “King Kong” attraction and a video library.

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Two workers and a supervisor were using a blowtorch to apply asphalt shingles on the roof façade of the “New York Street” set. The workers finished around 3 a.m., watched the roof for signs of fire as required, then took an hour-long break. Around 4:43 a.m., a security guard saw flames and alerted the fire department, which arrived four minutes later.

Ten hours later, the “New York Street” and “New Jersey Street” sets were destroyed, along with a video library and part of the courthouse square area.

At a press conference on June 2, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky called for an investigation into whether the 18-year-old sprinkler system or the lack of water pressure hampered firefighters’ efforts.

County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman said a task force is looking into the water power problems and will report to county officials by June 13.

Universal Fire Triggered by Worker's Blowtorch

Eager reporters waiting for a update of the Universal Studio fire, which injured a handful of firefighters and a sheriff's deputy.

Universal Fire Triggered by Worker's Blowtorch

L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman and Los Angeles City Council Member Tom La Bonge.

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