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Anime Fans Mourn Deaths at Renowned Japanese Animation Studio After Deadly Blaze

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By Gary Trock

Anime fans are sharing their grief over the suspected arson at one of the most popular animation houses in Japan, resulting in at least 33 deaths.

The deadly fire broke out at about 10:30 AM Thursday in Kyoto, Japan at the Kyoto Animation Co.'s headquarters.

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Police said the animation company's 1st Studio building in Kyoto's Fushimi-ku district was the target of suspected arson.

The Kyoto Animation studio is a four-story building located in a residential neighborhood, and 48 fire engines raced over to try and put out the flames.

After the fire was put out, emergency responders could be seen tending to the injured while removing the bodies of those who had perished. So far, at least 33 have been confirmed dead, with at least 30 others severely injured.

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Kyoto police said a 41-year-old man, who was suspected of carrying out the attack, had been identified.

The man allegedly poured gasoline around the studio and set it on fire, he also had a backpack containing several knives.

The suspect was also critically injured during the fire and was hospitalized. He has not yet been able to be questioned by police.

In the aftermath of the fire, fans in the anime community expressed their grief over the tragic loss.

"Kyoto Animation is a beloved, organized, & independent studio full of talented people who’ve worked/helped tirelessly on these gorgeously animated & heartwarming shows that spread joy to millions. My condolences to all the brilliant staffs & their families," one fan wrote.

Another wrote, "THIS IS SO SAD, KYOANI IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE ANIMATION STUDIO... Deep condolences for the victim and their family."

The identities of the deceased employees have not yet been released.

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