Los Angeles high-rise building fire: 8 injured, officials say

Los Angeles high-rise building fire: 8 injured, officials say



A suspect is in custody after a raging fire in a 25-story residential high-rise in Los Angeles on Wednesday left eight people injured, including a 3-month-old, the city’s fire department said.

“Right now, we’re labeling this a suspicious fire,” Los Angeles City Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said. “We do have a suspect in custody.”

Most of the injured suffered from smoke exposure, and six were transported to a local hospital, the LAFD said in a statement. One person required CPR and was transported in critical condition, Deputy Chief Armando Hogan said at a press conference at the scene.

Despite initial reports from the fire department that people had jumped from the sixth floor of the building to escape the blaze, officials later said no one had jumped.

“We had two people who had contemplated jumping,” Hogan said. “No one jumped. There are no fatalities at this incident.”

A man clings to a window on the outside of 11740 W Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 2020.

More than 300 personnel and four helicopters responded to the blaze, the LAFD said. Nearby Santa Monica Fire Department, LAPD, LA Sheriff and allied agencies also responded.

The high-rise building does not have a sprinkler system because it was built during an era when sprinklers weren’t mandatory, Terrazas said.

Instead, the department was able to contact people inside the building and instructed them to go to the roof for evacuation, Hogan said. Fifteen people were transported from the roof directly to the hospital, Terrazas said.

Personnel “knocked down” the fire just before 10 a.m. local time, said Hogan, who called it a “herculean effort.” Firefighters were conducting a floor-to-floor search for additional victims.

A helicopter flies over a residential building that was on fire in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 2020.

The fire broke out before 8:30 a.m. local time in the Sawtelle neighborhood, just hours after firefighters quelled a “major emergency” fire at a vacant commercial building downtown.

Video retweeted by the LAFD appeared to show a balcony engulfed in flames and smoke as a person clung to the outside of a window, reaching for a firefighter elevated by a ladder.

The high-rise is located along Wilshire Boulevard near a string of restaurants and gyms.


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