Firefighters discovered two people dead and two injured in a greater-alarm blaze at a music recording studio in Universal City on Saturday morning. The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived just before 7 a.m. to a one-storey commercial building to find heavy smoke, with flames burning inside a 75-foot by 50-foot music studio.
Two males were discovered dead at the scene, Los Angeles police Capt. William Hayes said at a Saturday afternoon news briefing. Two others, a male and a female, were rushed to nearby hospitals in critical condition. Firefighters initially said a third person had been hurt, but Hayes later clarified that only two had been hurt. No names were immediately released.
Hayes added that the studio has several recording rooms in it. About a dozen people were believed to be in the building when the fire broke out.
“It’s a recording studio that works 24-hours-a-day,” Hayes said. “There’s several individual rooms in them where recordings take place, so there’s different groups in each one of those rooms.”
It took firefighters just under 30 minutes to knock down the blaze. The fire occurred in a busy commercial area with several nearby businesses, including an In-N-Out and a Panda Express.
The building did not appear to have the proper zoning permits, an LAFD official said.
“This will be a lengthy and protracted investigation due to the complexity, the fatalities, and the fact that this is not a building that is zoned, or appears to be zoned, for inhabitant-dwelling or housing,” LAFD Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Butler told CBS Los Angeles. “So that is some of our challenges at this point.”
It’s unclear exactly how many people were in the building at the time of the fire or why they were there.
The L.A. County coroner’s office will determine the causes of death for the two deceased victims. The cause of the fire is under investigation by LAFD arson detectives.