On Thursday, a fire in an industrial building converted into a recording studio in Hollywood tragically killed one man and injured two others. Now the victim’s girlfriend wants to know how and why the fire happened.
Nathan Edwards, 26, was killed when the fire tore through the building on West Lexington Avenue between Highland and Vine.
The LA Times reported that firefighters were called to the scene at 5:42 p.m. on May 19, but due to the recording studio’s heavy insulation and drywall, it took almost an hour to extinguish the fire. .
Firefighters told NBC4 the blaze was difficult to fight.
One person was killed and two others injured when a fire engulfed a building housing rental studios for artists in Hollywood. John Cádiz Klemack reports for NBC News 4 to 4
Video from inside the building, taken by Jamal Rajad of “U Ain’t Us Entertainment” after the fire was extinguished, showed the toll of flames on the structure.
Rajad said he was just happy to be alive.
“Not a single sprinkler, not a smoke detector, nothing,” Rajad said. “And I was the one running – I was the smoke detector. Me.”
Rajad’s efforts have helped save lives, including that of Sharon Osbourne’s daughter, Aimée Osbourne. But it’s the design of the converted building, built in 1922 according to firefighters, that raises questions for Nathan Edwards’ girlfriend Ciara Lee.
Edwards was known in the music world as Avery Drift. He was on FaceTime with a friend while at the recording studio, and the friend overheard Edwards freaking out and calling Lee to say there was an emergency at the studio.
“By the grace of God, Nate gave us all the strength. He has a whole family at home still trying to process this,” Lee told NBC4, through tears. “But her strength really pushes me to spread the word, because I can’t let anyone have that feeling.”
Edwards came from Maryland four years ago and had become a successful sound engineer, producer and artist.
He was found dead on the first floor of the building.
Lee says Edwards had been reporting issues to the studio since it began renting the space earlier this year.
Firefighters said they were investigating the safety of a Hollywood recording studio which caught fire and left one dead. Robert Kovacik reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. May 20, 2022.
The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed to NBC4 that the building does not have sprinklers. There were smoke alarms or detectors, but it is unclear if they worked or not.
“You’ve got an abundance of individual studios in there, and they all have soundproof walls, so really thick, thick insulation, double drywall, double-glazed windows,” LAFD Captain Erik Scott said. “And what it did was the fire held in that heat. Extremely intense.”
The City of Los Angeles is investigating whether the building has been approved to be converted into recording studios in the first place.
Arson investigators are also looking into the incident.