Fire Breaks Out at Universal Studios Theme Park on Anniversary of 2008 Blaze

A small fire broke out at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park near the “Despicable Me” attraction on Tuesday night.

According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, a Conex cargo box ignited around 11:40 p.m. on Tuesday. Five fire engines responded to the incident around midnight and were able to quickly get the flames under control. No injuries were reported.

Universal Studios Hollywood spokeswoman Audrey Eig told the Los Angeles Times that the fire broke out in a “non-guest area” and will not impact park operations.

“There was no damage, and no rides or attractions were affected,” Eig said. “We will open, business as usual.”

Videos surfaced on Twitter of a fire burning on the top of Universal’s parking structure, which is the area where the “Minion Mayhem” attraction is located.

The incident took place on the 13th anniversary of the three-alarm fire that broke out on the backlot of Universal Studios on June 1, 2008. The blaze demolished a three-acre portion of the backlot, including the warehouse connected to “King Kong Encounter” (the attraction was later replaced by “King Kong: 360 3-D” in 2010).

A number of irreplaceable master recordings from Universal’s Music Group were destroyed, including songs from Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Nirvana and Aretha Franklin. Universal’s Video Vault, which contains archives of the studio’s film and television library, had also burned down. The New York Times published an investigative article in June 2019 that argued the original damage estimate downplayed the severity, calling the 2008 fire as “the biggest disaster in the history of the music business.”

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