One person died and five others were injured when fire raged through a two-story residential hotel early Friday in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles, forcing some people to escape through windows, authorities said.
Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange said the fire was caused by a space heater that was too close to combustible materials. The blaze has been ruled accidental.
Two victims, described only as male and female, were in serious condition and one male victim was in critical condition, said Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. A male victim who sought treatment for lacerations was in fair condition and another woman was taken to a hospital by a family member.
“I saw smoke when I looked out my door, so I started running to everybody’s door and knocking on their door yelling, ‘Fire, fire, fire,’ “ Tamu Khalfani, who lives at the hotel, told NBC Los Angeles. “Three minutes later, it would’ve been too late.”
Fire was reported in multiple units and both floors of the Venice Hotel on Venice Boulevard around 2 a.m. and 105 firefighters extinguished it in 39 minutes, Humphrey said.
“Individuals were actually breaking out windows and going through their windows to escape the fire,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jaime Moore.