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L.A. high-rise fire: Girl found not breathing in stairwell

October 18, 2013|By Larry Gordon

A young girl was found not breathing in a stairwell of a smoke-filled West Los Angeles high-rise and was taken to a hospital with four other injured people, officials said Friday.

The child, whose age and name were not released, was found on the 23rd-floor stairway of the 25-story building in the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Capt. Jaime Moore.

The girl was with two other people, but it was unclear whether they were related, he said.

The four others hospitalized mainly suffered respiratory distress and one had chest pains, Moore said. Three firefighters were treated for minor burns.

The building, called Barrington Plaza, was declared off-limits to its estimated 700 residents. A Red Cross evacuation center was opened at nearby University High School.

The cause of the blaze, which began on the 11th floor about 11:45 a.m., is under investigation.

“There is pretty significant damage,” Moore said.

Water damage was most severe on the three floors below the blaze, he said.

L.A. fire officials said Barrington Plaza was not equipped with a sprinkler system because it was built 52 years ago. It does not fall under state regulations adopted in 1974 that require buildings taller than 75 feet to include such fire-suppression systems.


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