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Universal Studios Fire Started by Welders' Torch

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Debris clutters the New York Street facade at the Universal Studios Hollywood back lot, Monday June 2, 2008, in the Universal City section of Los Angeles, a day after a fire destroyed the sets of iconic films. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)

The fire at Universal Studios on Sunday that ripped through two "city blocks" was deemed an accident yesterday, but was not clarified until later. Now officials are saying a welders' blowtorch started the fire:

The workers finished placing the shingles on the two-dimensional facade about 3 a.m. Sunday and, as studio policy requires, they watched the shingles for an hour before taking a break. At 4:43 a.m., a security guard reported flames shooting up from the back lot. Within minutes, fire had engulfed the equivalent of a city block, and firefighters rushed to the scene. [Daily News]

Additionally, firefighters had trouble fighting the fire with the
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low water pressure within the studio's lot.

The fire did not hurt any soundstages or the Courthouse facade, but the video vault was damaged along with streetscapes and the King Kong attraction, which studio officials say will not be rebuilt in lieu of a new undetermined feature.

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