LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Two people remained hospitalized in critical condition today, as some residents were allowed back inside a fire-damaged high rise condominium tower on Wilshire Boulevard, west of the V.A. Hospital.
Hospital officials cited federal privacy laws and said they could not identify their two critically-injured patients. But firefighters said they took a 2-year-old girl in critical condition, and a sililarly-injured man, to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center during the Friday midday fire.
Persons above the fire-charred floors, or below the flooded ones, were allowed to resume living today in the Barrington Plaza building, 11740 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles sent 214 firefighters to battle the raging fire on the tower's 11th floor, which burned some units above and flooded some below with firefighting water.
Today, those living above the seventh floor and below the 12th were escorted in to pick up medicine, cellphones or other necessities. But they would not be allowed to stay inside, fire spokesman Erik Scott said at midday.
Three firefighters were burned and evaluated at a burn center for their injuries, but were released Friday night.
An electrical engineer who is a forensics expert was evaluating the damage, part of a team of city firefighters and federal arson experts combing the wreckage. The 25-story Barrington Plaza was built in 1961 and not required to be retrofitted with fire sprinklers, firefighters said.
The fire, near Barrington Avenue, was called in at about 11:45 a.m. Friday as smoke showing from the 11th floor. At the height of the blaze, flames shot from the building and two plumes of black smoke could be seen emanating from west-facing windows.
Within about 45 minutes, the flames were largely extinguished and the fire was declared out after one hour and 11 minutes. Firefighters said the blaze was contained to a single two-bedroom apartment.
Initially, only two people were taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke exposure, but as fire crews climbed stairwells in the tower, they found the child and a man in a stairwell at the 23rd-floor.
Both were initially taken to the roof of the building for treatment, but then taken to the ground floor. TV pictures captured the little girl, breathing, being loaded into an ambulance.
``Firefighters did have to perform CPR on the girl and she is now with her doctors at a hospital,'' fire department Capt. Jaime Moore said Friday.
A dog was killed in the fire. No damage estimate for the 240-unit building was finished today.
Posted by Amy King