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; 15 years ago (2008-06-01)
LocationUniversal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, United States
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, United States.

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 sheriff's deputy sustained minor injuries. The fire ended after 12 hours.

Universal Pictures said 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[change | change source]

List of artists affected

According to The New York Times Magazine, artists whose original master recordings were destroyed in whole or part in the 2008 fire include:[3]

Later legal documents filed by Universal Music Group in February 2020 cited four additional artists not included in the New York Times list: And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, David Baerwald, Michael McDonald, and Slayer.

References[change | change source]

  1. "USH 2008 Fire". The Studio Tour. Archived from the original on 2010-08-03. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  2. "Universal Studios blaze burns sets, video vault". CNN. June 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  4. "Universal Music Group Chief Lucian Grainge Addresses Vault Fire: 'We Owe Our Artists Transparency'". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2019.