June 21 1949 – Southland Fires Halted
Two roaring brushfires, one on Universal Studio’s “back lot” and the other in heavily wooded Griffith Park, were brought under control late Tuesday after causing several thousand dollars damage.
The only casualty reported was at Universal Studios where Virgil Summers, head of the grip department, suffered from suffocation and shock before being rescued. Summers was reported out of danger after hospital treatment.
The Universal fire began during the filming of “The Kid From Texas.” The flames swept up the huge back-lot ranch of 260 acres. Sparks ignited three buildings on the western street. 300 movie players including stars Audie Murphy and Albert Decker joined with county and city firefighters in putting out the blaze.
One of the buildings burned to the ground while two others were damaged. A studio spokesman estimated the loss at “several thousand dollars”.
The Griffith Park blaze – in the same area where 33 men lost their lives in 1933 – was brought under control by regular firemen and park department employees, after 300 acres had been seared. “
From Long Beach Independent, June 22 1949
Additional research by Dennis Dickens