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The Fire of Sept 15th 1953

The Ranch suffered another fire on May 15th 1953. Although no specific time given on when the fire started, it most likely was around 10:30 pm. , as newspaper reports state that it was under control shortly after midnight.

 

It was ascertained by firemen that it started in the Park Blvd. Apartment building and that it spread rapidly from there to the neighboring structures. It raged uncontrolled until the entire Burbank Fire Dept. including all their off-duty equipment was able to halt it around 12:25 am.  The damages estimated for the fire was said to be around $100.000 at the time.

 

Above: Firefighters extinguishing the fire of the Park Blvd. Apartment building. Visible in the background is the new corner of New York Str. and Modern Place.

Left: Firefighters trying to control the fire in what is left of the Apartment Building as seen from Modern Place.

Below: Extinguishing the fire from Modern Place. To the left and in the back, the corner Store on New York and Modern Street.

The fire not only razed the Park Blvd Apartment building, at the corner of New York Street and Park Blvd., but also everything on Park Blvd. itself. Including one whole side of Little Egbert Street and the  Boat set, used for numerous serials and films. It was reported in some papers that, at the time, it was used for the production for the movie 'The Caine Mutiny'.

The front side of the facades on Park Blvd.

In this photo from 1950 you can see the Apartment building and the Boat set behind the Park Blvd facades.

Other than the some of the photos and a few Newspaper articles, not much else can be found about this fire. However, as with the 1950 fire, there is some trace of it in the movie 'Pushover' from 1954. Production of this movie was back in late 1953, and a large portion of the movie was set against the New York street scene. Although the facades on Park Blvd. were under construction, it was deemed that this was a perfect background setting for numerous scenes in the movie.

A view of the construction site at the corner of Park Blvd and New York Street as seen in the movie 'Pushover'. 

As with the New York Street sets in 1950, Columbia decided not to rebuild the facades as before and instead update the look of Park Blvd to reflect the times. A new 4 story tall 'business' building was constructed on what used to be the Apartment building as well a new Stately City Manor in place of the old one. Also, 3 new 4 story tall Boston like Row homes were created to give the Park Blvd. a little more upscale appeal and hide the Water Tower/Spillway from the Parks view as well. 

The Park Blvd Apartment building and facades before 1953.

The new Park Blvd Bank building and facades present day.