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The Fire of Aug 10th 1970

The third fire of 1970 was another major blow to the Lot. Although contained to only 1 Acre of the Ranch, it so happened to be in the middle of the facility. Right on Blondie Street! It broke out around 8:30 pm that Monday night and spread quickly to neighboring structures. 

About 50 fire fighters from Burbank and Los Angeles helped battle the blaze and no injuries were reported.  It took five pumpers, two truck companies and a rescue unit from the Burbank Fire Dept. and three pumpers, a truck company and helicopters from the Los Angeles Fire Dept. to get it all under control. When it was all over, 4 major Facades were in rubble. The Corner Church, the rest of the Convent set behind it, The Partridge Family house as well as a portion of the Blondie house again.

To the left: A Fire Inspector searches through the rubble of what is left over of the Partridge Family facade. A small break for Coffee and Donuts was had on the steps before this picture was taken. In the back is part of the Convent Set and European Street set.

A view from the corner of the Partridge Family house, looking at the left side of the Blondie House. Behind it is the back of the European/Colonial Street set. This entire section was just rebuild, following the January 30th fire, only to be burned again.

Unfortunately there are currently no other known photos of the fire itself, beside the one to the left. It shows the left side of the Church on Blondie Street engulfed in flames. 

Two rare photos of the aftermath of the fire. Both are of the Partridge Family house. 

 

Above: A view from the front steps of the Partridge Family house looking towards the Garage with Colonial Street 'A' in the background.

 

Left: Looking from the front right corner of the Partridge Family house, towards the corner Church. The wall in the back is of the Church next to the house.

'The Partridge Family', 'Bewitched' and 'The Young Rebels' television series were all in the midst of production for the following season and thus had to re-plan their shooting schedules. Since the 'Partridge Family' house was completely destroyed, as well as 90 percent of the Church and Convent set behind it, originally all was to be rebuilt, so that production could continue. However, only the 'Partridge House' was reconstructed immediately, but not the other structures. This was due to the fact that the Convent Set was so large,  and the Church was not used so, re-constructing it within a month would not be feasible and deemed unnecessary. 

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This did affect the  show 'The Young Rebels' somewhat, which had been using the European/Colonial Street set and 'outside' of the Convent set for their backdrop ( Part of the Convent Set had already been affected by the April Fire earlier ). However, the show did not do well in the ratings and having a large part of its set out of commission anyway, the show was cancelled. Subsequently, the Entrance to the Convent Set and a portion of the European set, made their last appearance on this show.

A behind the scenes look at 'The Young Rebels' filming on Colonial Street in June of 1970.

There are a few visible traces on screen however, mainly in some 1st Season episodes of the 'Partridge Family'. In the episode called 'Old Scrapmouth' you may notice that there is no  Garage behind the bus, nor is there any reflection of the house in the windows of the bus, even though it is sitting in the driveway.  There is also a shot of Mark Hammil's character standing by the bus door and we can see the steps to the Partridge House, going to nothing. It is because this was filmed shortly after the fire. 

There are some other views as well from the Partridge Family in another episode.  In  'A Partridge by Any Other Name' we clearly get to see what is left of the corner Church, as Danny walks through the construction site. It is the actual foundation of what was the Church, and was left in place for the new structure that was put up.

Another glimpse is from two Bewitched episodes. One is from 'Paul Revere Rides Again' where we get a peek down Park Blvd. and Blondie Street, with the skeletal remains of the Church and only the Partridge Family fence still in place.

The other episode is 'Mary the Good Fairy' in which we see Imogene Coca walk down the side walk and for a brief second we get to see that there is nothing where the Partridge Family house should be, or the Convent San Tanco. 

If you look closely however, you get to see the a very small section of the Convent still stands when this was filmed. Sadly though, it was also demolished shortly after.

The area was rebuilt, as we know, with the reconstruction of the Blondie house's left side, a 'new' Partridge Family house and 4 new structures. The corner Church location received a new residential structure, and a new Church was constructed,  and set further back, and the Convent was replaced with  'Mexican Village' style structures . 

Presently even these structure have undergone several transformations over the years but below is the the most recent view to date of that affected area on Blondie Street.