9-year-old first victim in last week’s fire
By Sam Catanzaro
A teenager died from injuries sustained in a Brentwood-area high-rise fire last week, the Los Angeles coroner has announced.
Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner says that 19-year-old Jeremy Bru died Friday evening at a hospital from smoke inhalation and burns.
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 – including a 3-month-old child – while four were treated and released on the scene.
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.
Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents the area, has introduced legislation to LA City Council that would require older residential high rises to be retrofitted to have sprinklers and other fire safety precautions.
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.