The Black Eyed Peas were forced to flee a California recording studio in the early hours of this morning (11AUG04), after it went up in flames.

The Burbank Fire Department says the WHERE IS THE LOVE? hitmakers had candles burning inside the Glenwood Place Studios to create ambience as they recorded their upcoming album Monkey Business, but rather than get their creative juices flowing, the candles sparked a blaze.

The fire started while the bandmembers were dining in another part of the building as they took a break. Once they learned of the fire, they attempted to dampen the flames - much to the appreciation of members of the Burbank Fire Department.

Captain RON BELL says, "They evacuated the building (and) even tried using fire extinguishers prior to our arrival, but it was too late for fire extinguishers. But they did a good job."

An estimated $550,000 (GBP305,000) of damage was caused by the fire, which engulfed furniture and musical instruments - but the band managed to escape with a tape they had just recorded and a couple of charred guitars.

Rapper WILL.I.AM says, "Guitars, drums, drum, kits, keyboards, microphones, classic instruments that we've collected with our worldly travels are now destroyed."

Despite their recent troubles, the Black Eyed Peas are leaving for New York City tomorrow (12AUG04) to prepare for a live performance on TV show GOOD MORNING AMERICA the following day (13AUG04).

11/08/2004 21:29