ECHO PARK (CBSLA.com) — One person reportedly was killed and five others injured in a house fire that erupted in Echo Park Saturday night.
Around 60 firefighters were called shortly after 8 a.m. to the 800 block of Alvarado Street, where a home was engulfed in flames, according to LAFD spokesperson Erik Scott.
Witness Arturo Suarez was staying with his family in the hotel next door when he was jolted awake: “We heard somebody banging on the door get out, ‘Get out! There’s a fire!’…The flames, you could see them licking up against the [hotel] building.”
Crews knocked down the blaze in 36 minutes.
According to Scott, a man sleeping in a converted attic room became trapped inside and died. His four other roommates survived the blaze: two men men were hospitalized in critical condition, and another man and a woman were also injured and treated at the scene.
The death shocked nearby residents.
“Oh, my god. Wow…you just made my heart skip a beat,” Suarez said upon learning of the fatality. “Somebody died 20 feet away from us…that could have been us.”
One firefighter was injured and treated for minor burns.
Investigators haven’t yet determined the cause of the fire but don’t believe it’s suspicious. They say the home’s smoke alarms may not have been working.