By City News Service
Residents displaced from the seventh and eighth floors of a high-rise damaged by fire have been allowed back into their units, and today city officials gave their approval for tenants to resume occupying their apartments on the ninth floor.
Residents on the 10th and 11th floors were still locked out and cleaning and restoring of the apartments was still going on.
Additionally, officials at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center said one patient from the fire remains hospitalized in critical condition, while a second patient's condition was upgraded from critical to fair.
The cause of the fire and a damage estimate were not available, Katherine Main of the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
The blaze at the 25-story Barrington Plaza complex in the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard was reported about 11:45 a.m. Friday on the 11th floor of the building. An estimated 100 to 150 residents were displaced from 51 units on the seventh through 11th floors that were deemed uninhabitable.
Displaced residents from the seventh and eighth floors were allowed back into their units late Sunday night and this morning, according to Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
At the height of the blaze, a plume of black smoke could be seen emanating from the structure, with flames shooting from west-facing windows.
Within about 45 minutes, the flames had been largely extinguished and the fire was declared out in just over an hour. Fire officials said the blaze was contained to a single two-bedroom apartment.
Two people were initially taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke exposure, but as fire crews continued to search the building, paramedics found five other residents suffering from minor to moderate respiratory distress.
Two of those injured residents declined to be taken to a hospital. Among those who were transported was a critically injured 2-year-old girl who was found with a man in a 23rd-floor stairwell.
Three firefighters also suffered burns and were taken to the Grossman Burn Center for evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries.
A dog was killed in the fire, according to the fire department.
Because of the aggressive tactics used by firefighters there was a great deal of water in the burned apartment unit and some of that water seeped into the floors below, LAFD Capt. Jaime Moore said.
The 240-unit building was built in 1961 and was not equipped with a sprinkler system because it was grandfathered in and was not required to have one, according to the LAFD.