Fourteen people were injured today, three critically, in a residential hotel fire that was “criminal in nature,” authorities said.
The fire at the San Pedro Inn at 1001 S. Palos Verdes St. was reported at 3:31 a.m. and knocked down in 34 minutes, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.
The fire “is being treated as criminal in nature” and arson investigators were summoned to the scene, LAFD Capt. Jaime Moore said. A damage estimate was not immediately available.
Fourteen people were treated at the scene for injuries, and 12 of them were transported for hospital treatment, three in critical condition, Moore said.
Two of the three critically injured patients were considered in “grave condition,” one with severe burns and one with respiratory injuries, Moore said.
The third critically injured person had jumped from the upper floor of the two-story building.
Among those transported was a police officer who suffered smoke inhalation trying to get people out of the building, Moore said.
A total of 150 firefighters responded to the 14-unit, center-hall building, which was built in 1923, he said.
Firefighters who were returning from a medical call on 12th Street saw flames coming from one of the building’s units and called for additional crews before anyone called 911, Moore said.
Crews quickly began extending ladders to the second floor while mounting an interior attack using hose lines and ventilating the roof, Scott said.
“It is fortunate firefighters arrived so quickly to this tragic incident, even before a 911 call was received, and we were able to rescue occupants hanging from second story windows,” Scott said. “It could have been worse. Every second that passes in a large fire, the intensity increases extremely fast.”