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After fire, Magic Castle hopes to reopen Friday

A Los Angeles City firefighter removes a painting from the Magic Castle, as firefighters mop up after an attic fire damaged the Hollywood landmark Monday afternoon.

Magic Castle officials said they hope to reopen Friday after a fire broke out in the attic of the century-old Victorian mansion Monday afternoon, canceling its popular Halloween night event.

In a Twitter message, officials of the magic club said they would know more about the situation in the next 48 hours. It also noted that the Irma and Houdini Rooms were untouched by the fire.

No one was injured in the blaze, which was largely confined to the attic, thanks to the work of 125 L.A. city firefighters and an extensive sprinkler system, said Los Angeles Fire Capt. Jaime Moore.

In an unfortunate bit of irony -– or perhaps a bad Halloween trick -– the Magic Castle's theme for Halloween week was "Inferno." During the run-up to its Halloween gala, the club's website announced that the Magic Castle would be "ON FIRE with the spirit of Halloween!"

The Magic Castle, one of the city's landmarks, was built in 1909 for the family of a banker. It later became a multi-family home, then a home for the elderly, then small apartments. It is now the private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, and has become a training ground for professional and amateur magicians. It houses relics of the genre as well as the memorabilia of famous magicians.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: A Los Angeles City firefighter removes a painting from the Magic Castle after a fire damaged the Hollywood landmark Monday afternoon. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

 
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