A fire has broken out at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California with many sets already thought to be destroyed.

The blaze started on a sound stage before dawn and quickly spread, according to reports. At least one explosion has been heard, a firefighter told CNN.

The 230-acre site saw filming for King Kong and The War of the Worlds and also hosts theme park rides.

No injuries have been reported. James Barnes of the LA County Fire Department told the BBC the fire had virtually destroyed at least one building.

"There's some Hollywood history going up in smoke today and we're doing our best to minimalise the damage," he said.

About 200 firefighters and two helicopters have been deployed to assist the Los Angeles County Fire Department, according to Reuters.

The helicopters are dropping water on the burning structures and firefighters are attempting to stop the blaze from spreading to nearby brush.

Universal Studios spokesman Elliot Sekuler told Fox News the theme park would open on Sunday, although the studio tour sites and other attractions, such as the King Kong ride, have been damaged by the blaze.


01/06/2008 17:36:58