A massive fire erupted on Wednesday morning in a 25-storey Westside residential building. Residents of the building climbed out windows while some fleed to the rooftop to save themselves. The fire first erupted on the sixth floor at the Barrington Plaza apartments in the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard.
The firefighters were informed nearly 8:30 a.m. At least 300 fire crews rushed to the place to extinguish the fire and evacuate residents blocked inside the building. Most of the people suffered from smoke inhalation. Eleven residents were severely injured, and seven were sent to a hospital for treatment including a three-month-old baby. Two of the firefighters had minor burns.
The fire was first noticed by a resident who was at the tower’s pool. The man immediately rushed to the lobby to inform the front desk, and then a maintenance worker to the unit from where the fire began. According to the fire officials, some people jumped from the building to escape the flames. To avoid the thick smoke, some people crawled on their bellies.
The situation could have been much worse, but the firefighters rescued them with a fire ladder.
The residents were urged not to go back to the building overnight as they were suspecting the fire was not extinguished. At least 15 people were airlifted safely from the rooftop. It is for the first time the fire chopper has been used in rescue efforts.
The work was becoming more difficult due to strong winds gusting up to 35 mph. After fighting for hours, they were able to knock down the flames completely before 10 a.m. There was no indication anyone caused the fire, but the exact cause is being investigated. The multi-storey building is covered by L.A.’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which limits annual rent increases for tenants. Earlier in 2013, a fire erupted on the 11th floor of the building, injuring several people and displacing more than 100.