Los Angeles News

Columbia Square complex in Hollywood damaged in fire

Friday, September 13, 2013

A greater alarm fire broke out on Sunset Boulevard Friday night, damaging a historic Hollywood Landmark.

At first glance, it looks like a relatively small fire but in an instant, flames erupted the famous Columbia Square complex, which was under construction.

The fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. Flames were shooting from the construction trash chute at the complex as people walked by unaware of the danger.

"There were two explosions and people were just standing there looking. I was like, 'Move! Run! Get out of the way!' They wouldn't move," said witness Juan Padilla.

Pictures posted on Twitter captured the scene as fire lit up the night sky. It was a far different scene from the bright lights of opening night of the CBS West Coast Headquarters in 1938. Columbia Square went from radio to television. The pilot episode of "I Love Lucy" was shot there.

It also had a recording studio where stars like JanisJoplin, Barbra Streisand and Bing Crosby laid down their tracks.

The complex is now undergoing a nearly $1 billion renovation. Thanks to the quick work of firefighters, it didn't all go up in flames.

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fire, hollywood, los angeles news, leanne suter
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