LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Firefighters responded to a fire Wednesday afternoon at an apartment complex for seniors in the West Adams district.
The fire was reported around 1:10 p.m. in a fifth story unit of the Independence Square complex, located in the 2400 block of St. Andrews Place, off Adams Boulevard, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
The fire was extinguished by 1:23 p.m.
KNX1070’s Ed Mertz reports five people were treated for smoke inhalation.
Approximately 230 people live in the 136-unit building. One unit was destroyed and nine others damaged.
One resident, Carmen, spoke about the harrowing moment a neighbor came to her with fears they would not escape.
“I saw all that smoke and my other neighbor said, ‘We can’t get out, we can’t get out!’ I said, ‘Yes we can, we’ll take the stairs. We’ll go together,'” she said.
Residents said fire alarms often sound in the building and it’s not always clear when they’re signaling a real emergency.
Red Cross are helping some of the 14 residents who were displaced to find temporary lodging.
It was unknown how the fire began, although officials believe it was accidental.