Universal Studios by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage.com Universal Studios by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage.com

A faux version of New York City that Spider-Man and the Transformers once called home and a New England-y lot that was featured in Back to the Future as well as episodes of TV's Ghost Whisperer, Monk and House went up in flames Sunday morning when a massive, 12-hour fire tore through the Universal Studios back lot in Universal City, Calif.

The blaze began just before dawn on a sound stage and ultimately claimed at least one building and three blocks' worth of movie facades, while more than 100 firefighters and water-dropping helicopters battled the flames. The tragedy is believed to be one of the longest-running commercial fires in Los Angeles County history, partly due to low water-pressure which slowed down the dousing effort.

Nine firefighters and one sheriff's deputy suffered minor injuries, some in an explosion in the building housing the studio's (replaceable, thankfully) videotape and film reel library. The clock tower featured in Back to the Future was among the landmark set pieces lost in the blaze.

Sunday night's MTV Movie Awards were held as planned at Universal's Gibson Theater. - Matt Mitovich

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