West L.A. High Rise Erupts in Flames (PHOTOS)
Updated at the bottom with a child in critical condition. First posted at 12:09 p.m.
Barrington Plaza via Google Maps
Flames shot out of the windows of a high-rise in West L.A. today.
The blaze at 11740 Wilshire Blvd. was reported at 11:43 a.m., the L.A. Fire Department's Brian Humphrey said. Two people reportedly suffered smoke inhalation, according to KTLA News' coverage. The fire was in a unit on the 11th floor, Humphrey said.
A fire department helicopter circled overhead as crews on the ground got water on the blaze.
Those helicopters felt a lot closer on that balcony. pic.twitter.com/lEuYAWcYnY— Brian (@pump_150) October 19, 2013
The structure is a 25-story residential building, called Barrington Plaza, on the south side of Wilshire Boulevard.
It was too early to determine the cause.
[Added at 12:26 p.m.]: LAFD Capt. Armando Hogan told KNX 1070 News Radio / CBS Los Angeles that the 12th floor was also affected by the fire.
He said no injuries had been reported and that the firefighters were getting a handle on the blaze.
[Added at 12:28 p.m.]: The LAFD's Humphrey says one person was taken to a hospital for "smoke exposure."
Others were being evaluated by paramedics for non-life-threatening injuries, he said.
About 181 firefighters were assigned to the blaze, Humphrey said.
[Added at 12:34 p.m.]: Humphrey now says three people were transported to hospitals:
Some residents in floors (well) above fire reportedly failed to heed alarms and leave during fire; LAFD crews are checking on them.
He said the blaze at this point has largely been contained.
[Added at 12:56 p.m.]: Second-floor Barrington Plaza resident John Gordon told KCAL9 that no fire alarms went off in his unit and that he didn't evacuate until firefighters came and warned him.
"Since I've been here I've never heard an alarm ... absolutely nothing," he said.
The smell, he said, reminded him of his experience being in New York during the 9/11 terror attacks.
"This was the third fire in the last three months," Gordon said. " ... We're going to look for another place."
[Added at 1:10 p.m.]: The LAFD officially declared the fire was knocked down 71 minutes into the fight, according to the department's Brian Humphrey.
Despite earlier reports of possible fire on the 12th floor as well as the 11th, the LAFD now says the blaze was contained to one two-bedroom unit on the 11th floor.
The 386-unit building was built in 1961 and does not have fire sprinklers, Humphrey said.
The number of people transported for possible smoke exposure is back down to two, he said.
[Added at 1:25 p.m.]: KTLA News reports that two additional patients, including a child, were found inside a stairwell following a search of the building.
[Added at 1:34 p.m.]: The LAFD's Humphrey confirms that an "adult and child on the 23rd floor ... were briefly taken to the roof."
He said that as firefighters go through the building there might be additional patients discovered:
We're encountering a handful of residents in- (and out) -side the building with minor to moderate respiratory complaints.
[Update at 3:30 p.m.]: The LAFD's Humphrey says that child was hospitalized in critical condition.
Additionally, six others were "assessed" for exposure to smoke, with
five four of those taken to hospitals, he said.
Three firefighters were being checked out at Grossman Burn Center for "evaluations of non-life threatening burns," Humphrey said. Two suffered from leg burns, and the other suffered burns to an ear, he said.
[Added at 9:58 p.m.]: Humphrey said tonight that as many as 150 residents of the building were displaced as a result of the blaze, which appeared to have put about 51 of the building's 240 units off-limits at least temporarily.
A dog perished in the fire, he said.
Those three firefighters evaluated for burns were released from the Grossman facility but would remain off-duty for now, Humphrey said.
Folks left temporarily homeless by the blaze were being offered shelter by the American Red Cross, he said.