A devastating fire tore through an 11th floor apartment at Barrington Plaza on Wilshire and Stoner at around 11:45 Friday morning.
Hundreds of residents evacuated the 25-story building but five were taken to area hospitals, one little girl was found in the stairwell on the 23d floor unconscious and is in critical condition.
Three firefighters were also evaluated for non-life-threatening burns..
Some residents complained they didn't hear the fire alarm, others complained the elevators weren't working.
Jaime Moore from the LA Fire Department says, "The building's systems were working the way they were supposed to. Elevators are designed to go to the ground floor in the event of a fire, people need to use the stairwells to evacuate."
He says the most important thing in this case was for evacuees to close the door behind them as they were leaving to prevent further damage. The door to the two bedroom unit where the fire started was found open and that's what officials say caused the extensive smoke and heat damage on the floor.
Animal Services was on the scene and rescued five dogs and four cats, one poodle didn't make it.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, an arson unit will be checking the electrical wiring to see if that may have caused the fire, or to rule that out as the cause of the fire. Officials estimate the damage from the fire is in the millions.
(FOX 11 / CNS) - Fire tore through an 11th-story apartment in a West Los Angeles high-rise building today, sending eight people to hospitals, including three firefighters, and prompting a hasty search to ensure no residents were trapped on upper floors.
Firefighters were sent to the 25-story Barrington Plaza complex in the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard about 11:45 a.m. on a report of smoke showing from the 11th floor.
A plume of black smoke could be seen emanating from the structure, with flames shooting from west-facing windows. Traffic was routed away from the area as firefighting equipment was staged around the building. Wilshire Boulevard was shut down in the heavily traveled Brentwood-area corridor.
The firefighting effort continued into the early afternoon, with the bulk of the flames doused by about 12:45 p.m. Crews at the scene noted that an extensive cleanup and overhaul would be required, due both to the fire and smoke damage and the amount of water that was poured into the building.
Five civilians were taken to hospitals, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Fire officials did not know the conditions of the people transported except for one child who was critical.
Three firefighters were also among the injured, suffering minor burn injuries. All were transported to Grossman Burn Center for evaluation.
Firefighters scrambled through the high-rise building to ensure no residents were trapped on the upper floors. Humphrey noted that some residents on upper floors of the building ignored fire alarms and remained in their apartments, and fire crews were checking to ensure there were no more smoke-related injuries.
Despite what appeared to be two distinct plumes of smoke coming from the building, fire crews said the flames were contained to a single unit.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.