25-story building catches fire Wednesday, 11 injured
By Sam Catanzaro
Firefighters say that they had to perform CPR on one of the 11 victims of a fire that broke out in a Brentwood-area high-rise apartment complex Wednesday morning, the second time the sprinkler-less building had caught fire in the past decade.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the fire was reported at 8:37 a.m. on the 7th floor of a 25-story residential high-rise complex know as Barrington Plaza located at 11740 Wilshire Boulevard.
“We were met by residents that were literally hanging out of windows,” said LAFD Public Information Officer Captain Erik Scott during a media briefing.
A total of 335 LAFD personnel responded by ground and air, and were assisted by the nearby Santa Monica Fire Department, LAPD Los Angeles Police Department and allied agencies in successfully managing the incident.
According to the LAFD, 15 residents were hoisted off the roof by helicopter.
Two firefighters sustained injuries battling the fire. According to Scott, they suffered minor burns and were treated and transported to a local hospital.
“That’s due to the intense flames they had to deal with. These firefighters were literally driven to their bellies halfway through that hallway,” Scott said.
The LAFD treated 11 civilian patients. Seven were transported to a local hospital while four were treated and released on the scene.
“The two most serious patients were 30-year-old males. One of which was gravely injured and we had to perform CPR,” Scott said.
According to Scott, the other most serious was another 30-year-old male that was in critical condition.
“[he was] hanging out of the window, on the ledge due to the intense heat inside of that building unit of which our firefighters were able to bring that aerial ladder to and rescue. Our understanding is that was the critical patient,” Scott said.
The wind-driven fire was extinguished one hour and 19 minutes after it was first reported. There were eight civilian patients, most suffering from smoke exposure. Six were transported to a local hospital, including one person who was in grave condition, according to the LAFD.
According to the LAFD, high rises in the City of Los Angeles are inspected annually. Barrington Plaza was last inspected in June 2019 and was up to code, says Scott.
The 25-story building had no sprinklers, even though the same building burned almost seven years ago.
According to Scott, Barrington Plaza is one of 55 non-sprinkler-ed high-rises in LA. All of these were built prior to 1974 and therefore the LAFD says they are not required to have sprinklers.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“Arson investigators are still working very closely with the LAPD to determine the cause,” Scott said.
According to LAPD Captain Goddard, there is no link to a separate fire that broke out at a modern sealed high rise office building on the northwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard earlier Wednesday morning. According to Goddard, that fire, which was extinguished in 40 minutes, was started by a welding accident.