The fire last Monday at the Cinecittà film studios, located in the southeast of the city of Rome, has been added to the other three incidents declared on the premises in the last 15 years. In this case, the origin has been a set entirely built with papier-mâché that reconstituted Renaissance Florence for a historical documentary. The flames have also affected part of the structure that houses the Big Brother house, as well as part of the set for the series The Young Pope, by Paolo Sorrentino.
"The fire has already been controlled. There are no injuries, no intoxications, no serious material losses," announced Marlon Pellegrini, a spokesman for the studio hours after the start of the fire. With this, the studio in which films such as Ben Hur or La dolce vita were recorded has recorded four major fires in recent years, all of them in the summer.
On August 10, 2007, a hangar of more than 2,000 square meters burned at around 10:00 p.m. where the sets of the television series Roma had been stored. The flames reached 40 meters in height and 11 fire crews were needed to control the fire.
Around 1 am on July 19, 2012, a fire broke out at Teatro 5 in Cinecittà. Upon the arrival of the firefighters, the flames had devoured Theater 5 and the Fellini Theater, a few meters away. Directors such as Luchino Visconti, Martin Scorsese, William Wyler and Federico Fellini had passed through Theater 5, the largest on the premises with more than 3,200 square meters. According to various Italian media, the flames originated in the upper part of the theater, where cables, spotlights, and other flammable devices hung. Initially, the Italian police did not rule out that he had been provoked, a hypothesis that they ruled out days later.
On July 7, 2018, another fire was declared in a recording set the size of a football field that recreated the setting of ancient Rome. More than six firefighting vehicles were needed to put out the fire. "The fires are taking place in summer because some recording studios lack air conditioning and a lot of heat accumulates, which makes delicate materials burn," the then-spokesman for Cinecittà had told the Italian media.
The investigations of these fires point to natural causes, including the strong wind and the high temperatures typical of the Italian capital during the months of July and August. Since the beginning of summer, more than 30,000 fires have broken out across the country, including a major outbreak in Rome declared on July 9, which spread to the eastern outskirts of the city and caused the evacuation of several residential buildings. "It was very windy and about 40 degrees in the studio," said Marlon Pellegrini about the fire last Monday. Despite the high incidence of flare-ups in the study, the site lacks specific protocols or fire prevention plans.