News service NHK reported on Sunday that Kyoto Animation’s 1st Studio Building will be demolished, with preparation work for the demolition starting on Monday. The preparation work, including building scaffolding and emptying out the building, will take until the end of the year. The actual demolition will then start in early January and will go through late April.
Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta had stated in an interview two days after the deadly fire at the building that he was considering demolishing the building and creating a public park at the spot of the fire that would include a monument. At the time, Hatta stated, “when I consider the staff and the people in this neighborhood, there are people who don’t want to see such a gruesome sight.” Hatta added in a press conference on October 18, “It truly pains my heart whenever I see that treasured building in that state.”
NHK reported on Sunday that Kyoto Animation has not yet decided on plans after the demolition.
On July 18, a devastating fire broke out at Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building. A total of 70 people were inside the building at the time. The fire killed 36 people and injured 33 others. In addition to those victims, a man in his 40s on his way to work in the area suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation.
Kyoto Prefectural Police have apprehended a 41-year-old man who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire, and they are investigating the case as arson. The man allegedly bought 40 liters of gasoline in two canisters and used a cart to transport the gasoline to Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building. Police have yet to arrest the man as he is still in the hospital recovering from his injuries from the fire. The man is now undergoing rehabilitation and is able to communicate.
Kyoto Animation held a public memorial service for the victims of the fire at the Miyako Messe event hall in Kyoto on November 3-4.