Los Angeles, CA (April 17, 2018)—In the wake of a Los Angeles recording studio fire that killed two people and injured three others on Saturday morning, police now believe suspect Efrem Demery, 28, deliberately set the blaze after getting into an argument with the two men who died.
Speaking at a press conference Monday afternoon, LAPD deputy chief Justin Eisenberg recounted the events as pieced together by investigators, commenting, “Arson is a brutal crime and a terrible way to die."
When firefighters extinguishing the blaze Saturday discovered signs of an accelerant having been used inside Top Notch Recordings at 3779 N. Cahuenga Boulevard in Studio City, the police began investigating.
Using security camera footage from the facility and area businesses, the story soon emerged that a man bought gasoline at a Chevron station across the street; poured it in the studio hallway outside the room that the two victims, Devaughn Carter, 28, and Michael Pollard, 30, were working in; lit the gas and ran.
While police are still developing a motive, the results of the arson are all too clear. Roughly 15 people were working inside the recording/rehearsal facility when the fire broke out shortly before 7 A.M. on Saturday; beyond the victims, everyone else got out, but two—a 15-year-old girl and a man in his 20s—are now in critical condition after sustaining heavy burns.
Once police determined that they were looking for Demery, the suspect was detained Saturday night during a stop for a traffic violation. According to police, he has a criminal record that includes selling counterfeit goods, dealing in stolen property, burglary and more. Demery is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.