Fire Rips Through Downtown LA Building, 8 Injured

January 29, 2020 Updated: January 30, 2020
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At least eight people were injured, including a 3-month-old baby, in a Los Angeles high-rise fire on Jan. 29, the city’s fire department said in a statement while adding that the fire was started under suspicious conditions.

“Right now, we’re labeling this a suspicious fire,” Los Angeles City Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said, reported USA Today. “It’s very, very early in this investigation,” Deputy Chief Justin Eisenberg said. “We don’t know really whether we have an arson or an accident at this time.”

Officials said the majority of those who were injured suffered from smoke inhalation, six were hospitalized, and one person was in “grave condition,” according to the fire department in a statement.

Epoch Times Photo
Fire and smoke damage is seen on the exterior of a residential building in Los Angeles, Calif., on Jan. 29, 2020. Los Angeles firefighters rescued terrified residents from the rooftop of a 25-story high-rise apartment building where a fire broke out on a sixth-floor balcony and sent choking smoke billowing through the upper levels. (AP Photo Damian Dovarganes)

Fire officials added that while there were reports of people “jumping” out of the high-rise building’s windows to escape the fire, “we surmise that such person/s may have appeared, disappeared (returned briefly inside) and returned to the building’s exterior in an area heavily charged with smoke.”

The eyewitnesses likely believed the person “had jumped rather than temporarily retreated into the building. It is likely the jumper/s in question was the man later safely rescued by an LAFD Firefighter atop an extended aerial ladder.”

Epoch Times Photo
A helicopter flies over a residential building that is on fire in Los Angeles,  Calif., on Jan. 29, 2020. Firefighters swarmed the building on the city’s west side and people could be seen on the roof as flames and smoke rise from the sixth floor. A helicopter was hoisting people off the roof. (Megan Feldman via AP)

“We had two people who had contemplated jumping,” Deputy Chief Armando Hogan told USA Today. “No one jumped. There are no fatalities at this incident.”

Puja Oza, a resident, told The Associated Press that they saw a man on the building’s edge before he was rescued.

“He was literally like Spider-Man,” Oza said.

Terrazas told KTLA that helicopters were used to rescue residents.

“We have rarely done rooftop evacuations,” said Terrazas. “It’s a valuable resource for our helicopters. They worked effectively. Very successful.”

No firefighters were injured in the incident, according to the fire department. An investigation is underway.