An apartment building in a historic Los Angeles neighborhood had to be torn down after a devastating fire on May 16th. 

The Los Angeles City Fire Department responded with over 100 firefighters to a structure fire that was reported at 3:03 a.m. on May 16th, in the 4000 block of South Main Street in the Historic South-Central neighborhood of Los Angeles. They found a 24-unit two-story center-hallway apartment building with visible flames. The heavy blaze started in a densely-packed basement used for storage, which spread to the rest of the building, says Nicholas Prange, a spokesperson for the LAFD. 

Firefighters battled through low visibility and extremely hot conditions, while search teams were evacuating the residents. Only one person needed additional medical care at the hospital for smoke inhalation. At least four adjacent buildings were evacuated as a precaution.

The walls and floors soon started to collapse, so the fight continued from the outside. As the official statement says, the flames rose throughout the entire building, and across the attic. Eventually, the south side of the building collapsed. At that point, the only option was to tear the entire complex down.

Red Cross was notified to assist residents with interim housing. An MTA bus was ordered to give residents a sheltered place to wait, off the street, while details for accommodation were worked out.  

“Apartment fires are notoriously dangerous with high potential for casualties,” says the LAFD statement. “Today, we are reminded of the importance of operable fire protection systems (especially smoke detectors), and previously-discussed emergency escape plans, and it was fortunate only one resident was injured in the blaze.”

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