A large fire has ripped through a backlot at Universal Studios in Hollywood, destroying a set from Back To The Future, according to SkyNews.

The blaze also claimed the King Kong exhibit at the popular tourist attraction and a video vault containing more than 40,000 videos and reels.

The fire broke out on a backlot sound stage in a set featuring New York brownstone facades before dawn at the 400-acre property, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman said.

The fire was contained to the lot but burned for more than 12 hours before it was extinguished. No one is thought to have been seriously injured.

Roughly 40,000 to 50,000 videos and reels were in the video vault, but there were duplicates stored in a different location, NBC Universal President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Meyer said.

"Nothing is lost forever," he said.

The videos included every film that Universal has produced and footage from television series like Miami Vice and I Love Lucy. Firefighters recovered hundreds of those titles from the vault, Mr Freeman said.

The iconic courthouse square from Back To The Future was also destroyed, he said, and the famous clock tower that enabled star Michael J Fox`s character to time travel was damaged.

Two mock New York and New England streets used both for movie-making and as tourist displays were a total loss, said Darryl Jacobs, Los Angeles County fire inspector.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and no initial damage estimates were given.

The park reopened at noon. On a typical weekend day about 25,000 people visit Universal Studios.

However, studio tram tours planned to avoid the King Kong attraction, a favourite stop where the ape bellows at passengers and an artificial banana scent fills the air, said Universal Studios spokesman Eliot Sekuler.

Hundreds of visitors waited outside the park gates, where acrid smoke lingered, providing an eerie backdrop.