Celebrity News

Stars' Seaside Retreats Threatened by Malibu Wildfire

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Oct 21, 2007 | 9:33am EDT

Seaside celebrity enclave Malibu Colony in California has been ravaged by a fast-paced wildfire, which broke out early on Sunday morning.

The blaze has already claimed an animal hospital and landmark buildings Hodge Castle, which was reportedly once owned by Bob Dylan, and Malibu Presbyterian Church.

Locals are mourning the loss of socialite Lilly Lawrence's castle home--because it included a private museum featuring letters from Grace Kelly, Princess Diana and six U.S. presidents.

More than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze as WENN goes to press, but Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Sam Padilla admits the fire is far from under control.

Residents of Malibu Colony were evacuated to nearby Zuma Beach as the wildfire threatened their homes.

Built in the 1930s, the cluster of luxury homes that is Malibu Colony has been a favorite of celebrities over the years.

Linda Ronstadt, Larry Hagman, Jeff Bridges, Mel Brooks, Sting and Bill Murray are among the stars who reportedly own and rent homes in Malibu Colony.

In January, a smaller fire hit near the Colony area, and claimed the oceanfront home of actress Suzanne Somers.

Malibu fires in November 1993 destroyed Sean Penn and Ali MacGraw's homes and came close to claiming estates owned by Mel Gibson and Richard Gere.

Students at nearby Pepperdine University have also been evacuated from their rooms to a campus cafeteria.

The wildfire is expected to blaze throughout Sunday and Monday as hot weather and heavy Santa Ana winds marked the height of traditional wildfire season after one of the driest rain years in Southern California on record.

Arson experts have already started to investigate the cause of the fire.

COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.

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