A 3-month-old baby was among 11 people injured in a fire at a high-rise residential building in Los Angeles that city fire department officials said is considered 'suspicious.'
Los Angeles City Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said the fire began on the 6th floor and spread to the 7th floor of a 25-floor building in the Brentwood section of West Los Angeles. There are no sprinklers in the building, he said.
Firefighters working to put out a separate fire down the street noticed flames coming out of the high-rise building just at 8:37 a.m. local time, according to West Bureau Commander and Deputy Chief Armando Hogan.
Orange flames flickered and black smoke billowed from the building around 9:30 a.m. as firefighters walked on a nearby balcony, video taken by CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS showed.
Firefighters attacked the fire from the 6th floor as well as from a ladder truck outside, Terrazas said. They were able to put out the fire just before 10 a.m., Hogan said.
LA Fire's arson unit is investigating. Terrazas called the fire 'suspicious' but declined to provide details on why.
Eleven people were injured, including two adults one of whom is in grave condition, the other in critical condition. At least six of the injured suffered from smoke inhalation, officials said. The 3-month-old baby is also being treated.
Many people were airlifted from the rooftop of the high rise by both LA Fire and LA County Sheriff helicopters, though officials do not have an exact number.
Hogan said that no one jumped from the building. Two people were contemplating jumping, including a man that was scaling the outside edge of the building, but both were ultimately rescued by firefighters.
A shelter is being established for the residents.
Fire officials ask for video
Arson investigators are working with LAPD, talking to witnesses, and inspecting burn patterns to determine what caused the fire.
'We are going to determine if there was a crime or not,' LAPD Deputy Chief Justin Eisenberg said. He is asking witnesses that may have video to come forward so it can be reviewed.
There is no indication this blaze is related to an earlier one nearby, Eisenberg said. The fire is deemed suspicious due to its size and because there were injuries.
In a rare aerial rescue, multiple helicopters hoisted people from the roof of the building. Those victims were taken to a nearby VA hospital, LAFD Capt. Erik Scott said.
Windows were blown out of the building and wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph created another obstacle for firefighters.
The apartment complex was built in 1961, and Scott said it was not required to have sprinklers. There was a previous fire in the 240-unit residential building in 2013.