Fire in High-Rise Condo Kills Two
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Fire broke out today in a 23-story condominium building, killing two people and forcing 250 residents to flee, including some in wheelchairs, authorities said.
Five police officers suffered smoke inhalation while running through the building warning sleeping residents, said Beverly Hills police Sgt. Dexter Cummins.
″One officer grabbed a fire hose and four officers began kicking down doors, alerting the residents and getting them evacuated,″ said Cummins.
The officers found an elderly man and woman in wheelchairs and carried them down 19 flights of stairs, Cummins said.
The fire was extinguished within an hour by about 125 firefighters, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Greg Acevedo.
The blaze was contained to a bedroom suite in a 19th floor apartment, Acevedo said. One body was found in the bedroom, the other in a bath tub, he said.
He said the building in fashionable Century City did not have a sprinkler system.
The police officers were taken to UCLA Medical Center where nursing supervisor John Lewis said they were in good condition.
Two residents were taken to Century City Hospital. Nursing supervisor Rita Dana said both were older people with previous medical problems that were aggravated by the fire.
The cause of the fire was under investigation, Acevedo said. Damage estimates had not been calculated, he said.