DARK DAY FOR ROCK FIRE CONSUMES ANNAL OF MUSIC HISTORY.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD - A fire in an industrial park destroyed 10,000 CDs and 10,000 LPs in the personal collection of a musician and archivist whose treasures were a relied-on source of material for the industry.
Paul Surratt, a member of legendary country-rocker Gram Parsons' band Shiloh in the 1960s, estimated the loss at more than $100,000. The historic archives of his business, Research Video, located a few doors away, were spared.
But Surratt mostly mourns his two cats - Trouble and Guerrero - killed in the blaze.
``I don't believe this happened,'' said Surratt of Studio City. ``The worst thing was my cats.''
Surratt, 53, has been collecting for nearly 40 years, and had a collection of photos of Shiloh and tapes of live performances that were all lost in the fire.
Also gone are thousands of compact discs, LPs and laser discs, along with posters of the Beatles and the Carpenters. His own family photos were also gone in the blaze.
Surratt's loss is described as a tragedy by those in the industry who rely on him for historic materials for documentary productions.
Film director Allison Anders said Surratt is the person many in show business depend on for footage or merchandise dating back decades.
``(The fire) is a big loss to us all because Paul was a guy I could call on for all this rare stuff,'' Anders said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the 7300 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard at 7:43 p.m. Wednesday night and found heavy smoke at two locations - Tru-Wheel, a tire repair business, and Surratt's storage facility, authorities said.
They were forced to back out of the building and take a more defensive approach because of the fire's intensity, said LAFD Capt. Joseph Castro.
The fire also heavily damaged Tru-Wheel, where magnesium rims from the tire shop contributed to the blaze and made the fire tough to combat, Castro said.
In all, six businesses in the 100-by-700-foot building received damage from forcible entry and water, firefighters said. The fire was knocked down in about 80 minutes.
Surratt's Research Video, which carries television and film videos dating back to the 1950s, was among the businesses with water and forcible- entry damage.
One of Tru-Wheel's owners said he would do what he could to reopen his business soon, even at a different location if need be, to take care of customers.
He said the fire had spread to the roof area, and he praised the Fire Department's response.
``They did a hell of a job,'' said the businessman, who did not want to give his name.
Fire officials determined the fire inflicted $500,000 in structure damage and $500,000 in damage to the contents.
2 photos, map
(1) Paul Surratt of Studio City looks at the remains of his extensive collection of rock 'n' roll LPs, CDs and memorabilia after a fire swept through his storage space Wednesday in North Hollywood. His two cats were killed in the blaze.
(2) Music archivist and fire victim Paul Surratt, right, receives a comforting hug Thursday from friend Allison Anders.
Charlotte Schmid-Maybach/Staff Photographer