Former movie set goes up in flames

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Flames overcame a piece of Arizona history Tuesday morning. A property in Avondale, most recently used as a Western movie set and studio, has been destroyed by fire.

The fire erupted at CJS Film Studios shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday. Even though the buildings have been abandoned for several years, the piece of Arizona's past is now gone. Flames lit up the early morning sky as firefighters from multiple cities battled the blaze for hours.

"It's a three-story building that collapsed down to a single level of rubble, and it's at a point where we make sure that all that is completely out. There's a lot of debris," said Battalion Chief Ben Avitia of the City of Avondale.

Back in 2010, 3TV toured the historic landmark when some of its memorabilia was up for auction. The studios were opened in the mid-1980s, and served as the backdrop for movies such as " The Vagrant" and  "Hidden Palms." Today, there's nothing but multiple charred facades, structures and sheet metal strewn about.

The Avondale fire department says there's no power running through the building so they haven't been able to determine a cause.

Related: Bit of Arizona Western history going on the auction block (4/16/10)