Los Angeles high-rise fire leaves 8 injured, prompts rare rooftop helicopter rescue


LOS ANGELES (NBC) — Firefighters put out a high-rise apartment blaze on Wednesday after a helicopter sped some of the eight injured residents to the hospital, authorities said.

The fire, at the Barrington Plaza apartment in West L.A., just two miles away from UCLA, broke out just after 8:30 a.m. and officials say it was under control in two hours.

At least two residents were considering jumping, but firefighters used a public address system to urge them to stay put.

Image: Emergency responders at the scene of a fire in a Los Angeles high-rise building on Jan. 29, 2020.
Emergency responders at the scene of a fire in a Los Angeles high-rise building on Jan. 29, 2020.Sierra Menni

“We let them know to stay there,” LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan told reporters. “No one jumped. There are no fatalities.”

At least eight people were injured by the blaze, with six of them suffering from smoke inhalation, authorities said. One of the injured was considered to be in “grave condition,” fire officials said.

Wounded residents were among the 15 people taken away in a rare rooftop helicopter rescue and delivered to the Veterans Administration Medical Center, less than one mile away.

“It’s a valuable resource for our helicopter to do rooftop evacuations,” LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said. “It was very successful.”

The fire started on the sixth floor, and damaged units on the fifth, seventh and eighth levels before 335 firefighters put it out, officials said. Arson investigators were at the scene.

“We have some information I cannot share with you right now, but it is suspicious right now,” Chief Terrazas said.

Sierra Menni, 28, who lives across the street from the fire, said she heard loud bangs before seeing flames and one man dangling out a window.

“I heard two explosions and people screaming and I ran out and I went to the front of my building and I looked up and saw huge flames, and there was a guy with his foot out the window,” Menni told NBC News.

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