Eight people were injured on Wednesday morning after a massive fire broke out on the sixth floor of a Los Angeles apartment building, authorities said, leading several residents trapped and desperate to save their own lives.
Among those injured by the fire was an 8-month-old infant, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph M. Terrazas confirmed in a press conference. Six people were being treated for smoke inhalation, while two others suffered injuries that were unclear at this time, Terrazas said.
The flames broke out around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday at Barrington Plaza, a 25-story residential building located on the Westside, the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed in a press release.
The blaze, which occurred just two hours after firefighters put out another one a few blocks over, came on so strong and suddenly that some residents were forced to escape through their sixth-story windows.
Horrifying footage captured by one Twitter user showed a man desperately clinging for life outside of the building, just feet away from a window where clouds of thick, black smoke were billowing.
Others who became trapped inside the building were seen standing on the roof of the high rise, many in their pajamas and bathrobes while waiting for LAFD’s helicopters to rescue them from the blaze.
Though the man who was clinging to the building was contemplating jumping, Terrazas said during the press conference that they were able to talk to him, prevent him from doing so, and safely rescue him with a ladder.
Another resident also reportedly contemplated jumping, but Terrazas said the individual was also helped by officials. Despite their earlier reports, Terrazas confirmed that no one jumped from the building and that there were no fatalities in the incident, crediting the “quick action of firefighters” for that.
One patient received CPR by first responders before getting transported to the hospital, the fire chief said. Another person was also confirmed to be in “grave condition,” though it is unclear if it was the same individual.
In total, 335 LAFD personnel had responded to the scene to help extinguish the flames amid the strong winds, along with four LAFD rescue-capable helicopters, the LAFD said. Besides the building, a nearby palm tree also caught fire in the incident.
By 10:45 a.m., the LAFD confirmed the fire had been successfully put out, just an hour and 19 minutes after it was first reported to officials.
During the press conference, Terrazas said authorities believed the floors five through eight were impacted, but that crews were assessing the building to see “what’s been involved and what our next steps will be.”
Terrazas also noted that there was “no sprinkler system in the occupancy” and that officials were investigating. At this time, authorities are considering the fire suspicious, but do not believe it was arson.
The fire comes seven years after Barrington Plaza suffered its last blaze, which broke out on the 11th floor and displaced 150 residents, while also injuring two, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The building did not have a sprinkler system in place at that time. According to the outlet, Barrington Plaza was built in 1968 and was subsequently exempt from newer state regulations mandating that buildings over 75 feet have a fire-suppression system in place.