What Happened in the Universal Studios Hollywood Fire? | Videos

Universal Studios Hollywood has been victim of numerous fires throughout its history all with varying causes and extent of damages. Some of the most recent and well documented fires in Universal Studio Hollywood's history are accounted below with photos, videos and details!

1990 Universal Studios Hollywood Fire

What Caused The Fire?

The 1990 Universal Studios Hollywood Fire was allegedly caused by a Universal Studios security guard. The employee reportedly had only worked at Universal Studios Hollywood for two months before deciding to set fire to the backlot which took over 400 Los Angeles Country firemen to extinguish.

What Was Damaged In The Fire? 

Nearly 20% of the Universal Studio's backlot, or 84 acres, were burned during the fire. 

Iconic sets used in the films To Kill A Mockingbird, The Sting and Dick Tracy were entirely destroyed and reduced to ash during the blaze. Among the other damaged ares were the iconic Brownstone Street, New York Street and Sting Alley which have been used in hundreds of television shows, movies and commercials.

Though the sets from To Kill A Mockingbird, The Sting and Dick Tracy could not be saved, Brownstone Street, New York Street and Sting Alley would all be rebuilt in the following years.

The total cost of damages were estimated to be nearly $100 million dollars.

2008 Universal Studios Hollywood Fire

What Caused The Fire?

The 2008 Universal Studios Hollywood fire was allegedly caused when a construction worker was heating roofing shingles to be placed on a set piece. After leaving the set unattended and not realizing the shingles hadn't fully cooled, the set piece quickly caught fire and spread rapidly through the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot

What resulted from the incident was one of the costliest fires in Universal Studios Hollywood history that would leave many historically significant movie sets and music catalogs destroyed.

What Was Damaged In The Fire?

Nearly 50,000 archived copies of Universal Studio's films and tv shows were lost in the fire. Luckily, original versions of these films and shows existed meaning most of this content was still preserved in some manner. 

Though unconfirmed by Universal a report by The New York Times alleged that up to 150,000 master recordings of various albums were destroyed by the fire. If true (The New York Times cannot confirm any of these recordings were in fact destroyed), priceless, original recordings of some of the most beloved music in history were lost forever. 

Also damaged in the fire was the King Kong Encounter attraction which was rebuilt as King Kong: 360 3D.

2021 Universal Studios Hollywood Fire

What Caused The Fire?

The cause of 2021 Universal Studios Hollywood fire is still unconfirmed, but it has been classified as a small brush fire. Likely an electrical spark or other component close to brush quickly ignited the fire. 

Luckily, this fire was not too large in size, but became heavily featured in the media for happening so close to popular attractions like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. 

What Was Damaged In The Fire?

Despite scary images of smoke billowing in front of iconic minion peeking out from Universal Studios, no damage was reported. The theme park opened the next day with no signs of a fire even occurring! 

Other Universal Studios Hollywood Fires

Throughout Universal Studios Hollywood's history there have been multiple other fires at or near the popular theme park and movie studio. While not as large or newsworthy as the fires detailed in this article, they are still scary to hear about and we're lucky the Los Angeles Fire Department was able to quickly extinguish them.

  • June 1949: A brush fire ignited on the backlot during the filming of The Kid From Texas
  • September 1987: A suspected arsonist set fire to the backlot destroying a set from Spartacus and a few small, neighboring buildings
  • October 1995: Soundstage 32 caught fire and was damaged
  • March 2007: Small brushfire in the hills adjacent to Universal Studios
  • June 2022: Small brushfire in the neighborhoods near Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood Fire Videos