Residents Forced To Leap From Sixth Floor As Fire Rips Through LA Skyscraper
Residents in a high rise block of flats are being forced to jump from the sixth floor as a fire tears through the building.
At least 300 firefighters are believed to be tackling the blaze, which broke out at the Barrington Plaza apartment complex in West Los Angeles at around 8.30am local time on January 29.
Rescue workers are attempting to evacuate everyone inside, but as the fire is located on the sixth floor residents on higher levels have been attempting to escape from windows and balconies.
Footage shared on Twitter shows firefighters rescuing a resident who was clinging to the outside of the building:
The LA Fire Department (LAFD) has said it is not clear how many people jumped from the building, though rescue pads have been placed on the ground in an effort to cushion the landing of anyone who tries to escape by jumping.
The LAFD requested police support to aid in evacuating the building, and authorities deployed a helicopter to the scene. Firefighters took to evacuating those on higher levels via the roof, where they were airlifted to safety.
Initial reports indicated 10 apartments were on fire, with firefighters working amid strong winds in the area to tackle the blaze. Images show thick black smoke pouring from several windows.
At the time of writing, the LAFD is still working to extinguish the blaze:
The cause of the fire is not clear, though witnesses at the scene told Fox News they heard an explosion before the flames erupted.
Five people are believed to have been injured during the fire, at least one of who is believed to have jumped from the building, Brian Humphrey, a spokesperson for the city fire department, told CNN.
The fire on the sixth floor of the building has been successfully extinguished, but the blaze has spread to other floors.
Firefighters are said to be making ‘significant progress’ in extinguishing the fire, and are now focusing on medical evacuations.
This is the second time in 10 years a fire has broken out at Barrington Plaza. In 2013, a blaze erupted on the 11th floor, displacing up to 150 residents and injuring two people, according to the LA Times.
At the time, LA fire officials said the building was not equipped with a sprinkler system. It’s unclear whether sprinklers have since been installed.
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CreditsLA Times and 3 others