Whoa. This was the scene in October of 2004 .
I got an assignment on Thursday last week to pick up a statement from the Burbank Fire Department regarding the arrest of two men for arson.
The fire involved a recording studio that burned down under suspicious circumstances almost two years ago. That recording studio was part of the smoldering crap that's all over the street in the first photo.
It didn't click at first. As I sat waiting for the sound bite in the lobby of the Burbank Police and Fire Department (yup, both in the same building), I gave it a bit of thought. It dawned on me that I'd actually covered the fire and had posted about it back then (Building go BOOM!).
It's not uncommon that we don't see the final outcome of the stories we cover. It's part of the job for us to move on to other assignments. We rarely have the opportunity to revisit the smaller stories that don't involve the kind of elements that gain national attention.
I think rule number one in the arsonist's rule book should be to leave the fire insurance alone if you intend to commit arson. That's kind of a red flag.
Trust me, when the policy involves millions of dollars they look at things pretty close before they hand over that check.
Don't bump up the fire insurance just before you torch the place.
This is the building as it stands today.
This is how it looked on the day everything happened.
Other little tidbits that I found interesting? There were multiple points within the building where the fire started. Uh, accidental fires don't usually start in multiple locations within a structure (duh!). A buildup of natural gas caused an explosion that blew the roof off the place and scattered debris all around the neighborhood. Apparently the gas pipes were disconnected. They didn't show signs of being stripped or damaged, so the gas was probably intended to add to the fire.
The trial is still pending, so I probably shouldn't characterize the two suspects as arsonists. They aren't really arsonists until actually found guilty of arson. I'm thinking it's only a matter of time.
If you read my original post, you'll probably notice I was somewhat skeptical of this being an accident. It's been quite some time since then, but I feel fully justified and not immature in the least in reminding everyone; ha-ha, told you it was arson.