Updated Jul 18, 2019

At least 20 confirmed dead in suspected arson attack in Japan

Firefighters battle a blaze at Kyoto Animation in Japan.

Firefighters battle a blaze at Kyoto Animation in Japan. Photo: Kyodo News via AP

20 people were confirmed dead and more than 10 others presumed dead in a suspected arson attack at Kyoto Animation in Japan Thursday, a Japanese fire official told AP. Another 36 others were injured — some critically.

Why it matters: The death toll makes it the deadliest fire in the country since 2001, when a blaze killed 44 in the Kabukicho entertainment district in Tokyo.

Details: The blaze began after a man sprayed a flammable liquid onto the building, police told Kyodo News. Witnesses said he screamed, "You die," according to local news outlets, which reported police saying knives were found at the scene. Police told NHK News they detained a 41-year-old man, who was being treated for injuries.

What they're saying: A fire department spokesman told AFP, "Callers reported having heard a loud explosion from the first floor of Kyoto Animation and seeing smoke."

The big picture: The studio has produced the "Sound! Euphonium" series and the "Free! Road to the World — The Dream" movie, which is due for release this month, according to Reuters.

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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