Fire damages residential high-rise in Los Angeles

AP News
Posted: Oct 18, 2013 11:52 PM
Fire damages residential high-rise in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eight people, including a young girl in critical condition and three firefighters, were taken to hospitals on Friday with injuries sustained in a residential high-rise fire in Los Angeles that did its worst damage to just one apartment but left dozens of people displaced, authorities said.

The young girl was found in a stairwell on the 23rd floor by firefighters who performed CPR on her before transporting her to the hospital, said Los Angeles Fire Capt. Jaime Moore. She suffered significant smoke inhalation and she was being treated as critical as an extra precaution.

Two of the firefighters had leg burns and one had a burned ear, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said. All were treated at hospitals and released Friday night.

All the other injuries involved smoke exposure, and none were life threatening, Humphrey said.

A pet dog from the building died in the blaze, he said.

The fire was reported at 11:43 a.m. in a two-bedroom unit on the 11th floor of 25-story Barrington Plaza on Wilshire Boulevard. Residents of 51 of the building's 240 units were displaced, Humphrey said. Between 100 and 150 people were affected.

Large flames could be seen on the side of the high-rise during the height of the blaze.

Humphrey said the building, constructed in 1961, was not equipped with sprinklers because the devices weren't required for buildings of that era.

A cursory look at inspection records showed the building was up to code, he said, noting fire officials would be taking a closer look at the records.

Heavy smoke poured from the building as more than 200 firefighters responded and scores of residents evacuated.

Most residents weren't home during the mid-day fire. Humphrey said some residents on upper floors didn't evacuate.

The blaze was declared out in 71 minutes but firefighters continued to search door to door. The fire was largely contained to the single unit, though there was smoke and water damage to neighboring units, Humphrey said.

Two investigators were examining the unit to determine the fire's origin and cause. It's unclear where the unit's occupant was when the fire broke out, Humphrey said.