Hogwarts, the boarding school made famous in the Harry Potter books and films, is best known as a place where witches and wizards gather to learn the tricks of their trade. Unfortunately, future students might have to practice the occult sciences at another location since the academy has gone up in smoke. Luckily no one was magically transformed into a crispy critter.
The set caught fire during the shooting of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' final battle scene. In the sequence, Harry raises an army of students to defend the school from the evil wizard Voldemort. The elaborate scene required a slew of pyrotechnics and explosives, which blazed out of control for 40 minutes on the Levesden Film Studios lot when a mock-up castle (made of timber, steel, and plastic) was accidentally set aflame. The main cast members -- Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) -- were not there at the time, and the 100 crew members on set managed to get away without injury. Of course, some poor folks may be losing their job.
Damages were estimated to be about $150,000 and Warner Bros. stated production will still be moving forward, but this is obviously a big setback for the schedule. The final installment in the fantasy franchise will be released in two parts (in 3D) on November 19 and July 15.