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Musician found dead in Hollywood recording studio fire

Musician killed after fire in Hollywood recording studio
Musician killed after fire in Hollywood recording studio 02:47

A musician was killed when a stubborn fire broke out at a recording studio in Hollywood Thursday evening, inside a building that also contained a marijuana grow.

The blaze was reported at 5:42 p.m. at the two-story building on the 6600 block of West Lexington Avenue in Hollywood.

While searching the building, Los Angeles Fire Department crews found one man dead inside. He was identified Friday as 26-year-old musician Nathan Avery Edwards, who went by the name Avery Drift. 

"I would've put my life on the line to save his too," said Edwards' friend Jonathan Wellman. "Inspirational, motivational, he was young, promising [and] he was a good friend." 

Two others were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but were not hospitalized.

"I went home to walk my dog, and came back, and...sorry," said an emotional Justin Barnett, a DJ and producer, whose music studio was one of several destroyed in the fire. 

Media personality Sharon Osbourne, wife of Ozzy Osbourne, posted to Instagram that her daughter, Aimée Osbourne, was working with a producer in one of the recording rooms when the fire broke out, but both escaped.

"It is utterly heartbreaking that someone lost their life today in this fire & we are sending our prayers to this person & their family," Osbourne wrote

The recording studio's compartmentalized layout -- consisting of several small recording rooms with thick soundproofing material in the walls -- made the firefight challenging for crews.

"The studios had sound deadening: so that's thick walls, extra insulation, double dry wall and thick windows that held in all of the heat and smoke, making this a very hot and intense firefight," LAFD Capt. Erik Scott said. "Our firefighters took a beating, but they were relentless and extinguished the flames."

The fire was knocked down in 51 minutes, the fire department said.

"The scary part is, that could have happened to any one of us," Barnett said. "Especially the producers and the engineers. We put so many hours in. It's very common to nap in between sessions." 

Although the cause remains unclear, after extinguishing the blaze, firefighters discovered a suspected marijuana grow on the building's second floor, the fire department said. 

LAFD is investigating whether the marijuana grow was legal, and if it caused the fire.

The fire department confirmed the 100-year-old building did not have sprinklers. Some smoke alarms were found but it's unclear in they were working.

Barnett said he had just moved into his studio a few weeks ago. He admits he didn't closely analyze the building's safety records.

"You kind of do visual checks. I hardly ever think I go through and say, 'Does that sprinkler work? Is this fire thing?' I did not do that. I will do that for sure now," Barnett said. 

James Davis, who was in the building with Wellman and Edwards, said scrambled to grab their electrical equipment shortly after spotting smoke. 

"Tied my shirt on my face, getting too much inhalation and I made it 10 more steps and the guy running right there was like "C'mon it's over. Let's get out of here," said Davis. 

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