LOS ANGELES -- The $3 million Paramount Studio fire that destroyed a number of historic street sets including the one used in both 'Godfather' movies was caused by arson, fire chief Gerald Johnson said Thursday.
Johnson said investigators, who had no suspects or possible motive, concluded earlier this week that the blaze was purposely set after eliminating all possible accidental causes.
'We haven't determined the specifics as to how the fire was set,' the chief said, 'but we've eliminated all accidental causes.'
The Aug. 25 fire destroyed about 350,000 square feet of outdoor sets, some built 50 years ago, and damaged four sound stages. The blaze started beOind a tattoo shop facade on a collection of intertwining roadways known as New York street.
Two hundred firefighters from 41 companies fought the spectacular blaze in the heart of Hollywood for nearly three hours before bringing it under control.
The sets were used in dozens of movies with stars like Jerry Lewis, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, including 'Going My Way, 'The Bells of St. Mary,' 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' as well as the 'Godfather' films.
The three sound stages were used in the filming of such movies as 'Catch 22,' 'Chinatown' and 'Marathon Man.'
The fire also partially damaged the sound stage for 'Star Trek III: the Search for Spock.'