At least 33 people were confirmed dead and 36 injured in the Kyoto Animation Co. fire, which was caused by an arson attack. The well-respected animation studio, which was popularly called KyoAni, is located in  Kyoto's Fushimi-ku district.

The fire — which broke out at around 10:30 a.m. local time on Thursday, Jul. 18 — started in the company's 1st Studio building. The suspected arsonist is now in police custody. CNN reported, "A Kyoto prefectural police spokesperson said a 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the attack also had a backpack containing several knives. The suspect poured what appeared to be gasoline around the studio and set it on fire."

Prior to the fire, a resident in the area claimed to have heard a sound like an explosion coming from the studio. 

Police later revealed that the suspect is a man named Shinji Aoba, who alleged that his work was plagiarized by the animation studio. The police said that Aoba cited this as his reason for starting the fire. However, Kyoto Fushimi Police spokesperson Ryoji Nishiyama said they were "not yet aware of a link" between Aoba and the studio. For now, Aoba remains sedated at a hospital while he undergoes treatment for the severe burns he sustained when he set fire to the KyoAni building.

These details confirm what some witnesses revealed about seeing a man who "seemed to be very angry at the studio." In fact, a witness quoted in The Asahi Shimbun newspaper recalled that she clearly heard the suspect shout, "You ripped me off!" Another witness also claimed that he heard the suspect say, "You copied it!" These outbursts were presumed to be directed at KyoAni.

Aoba reportedly tried to flee from the scene as the fire grew. He tried to get to a nearby train station while he was reportedly chased by some KyoAni employees. For now, though, 

KyoAni, which has been around since 1981, is known for producing popular animation shows such as "K-On" and "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya." Its series, "Violet Evergarden," was picked up by Netflix. The studio, therefore, has become so much a part of the lives of its fans. It has secured a spot in Japanese pop culture, earning the distinction of being "the first successful studio outside Tokyo."

The studio's fans have expressed their grief over those who perished in the fire. A number of them have started a GoFundMe campaign titled "Help KyoAni Heal." They managed to raise more than $300,000 in six hours.

Meanwhile, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his horror over the incident. He has been quoted as saying that what happened is "too appalling for words." The incident is now being tagged as "Japan's worst mass killing in almost 20 years." The prime minister offered condolences to those who had lost their loved ones in the fire.

In the wake of the tragedy, fans, as well as people all over Japan and the rest of the world, have expressed their sympathy and condolences for the families of those who lost their lives in the fire.