Studio City fire: Suspect bought gasoline, intentionally set blaze, police say

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Studio City fire that killed two people at a music studio was intentionally set by a suspect who bought gasoline at a local gas station to start the blaze, police said Monday.

The suspect, Efrem Zimbalist Demrey, Jr. 28, was arrested over the weekend for allegedly starting the blaze that killed two people and critically wounded two others.

Police say Demrey was involved in some kind of dispute with the two victims who died. He allegedly went to a nearby gas station, bought gasoline, spread it around the studio and started the blaze that killed the two men, LAPD officials said.

The two others who were critically wounded - a 20-year-old man and a 15-year-old female - were not involved in the dispute and were not intentionally targeted, police said.

The two victims who died were identified as Michael King Pollard, Jr., 30, and Devaughn Carter, 28, both Los Angeles residents.

Police say Demrey has a prior criminal history that includes arrests for burglary and selling counterfeit goods.

"Why he did it -- was he on drugs? Was he on pills, something?" said Pollard's mother, Lodi Pollard. "Because we never seen it coming. I didn't see it coming."

Carter's mother, Donna Hill, said she just told his son in Napa Valley about his father's death.

"He was a good father to him," Hill said. "I just got through having to tell him over the phone that his daddy's not gonna be here anymore."
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