People fleeing Los Angeles hotel fire leap from 2nd story

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – People jumped from the second story of a burning Los Angeles hotel early Thursday to escape fast-moving flames that killed one person and left 15 others with burns, broken bones and other injuries, officials said.

Crews responding to the fire around 3 a.m. immediately went into rescue mode at the two-story residential hotel near the harbor in Wilmington, fire Capt. Daniel Curry said.

“We had people in the windows and starting to jump,” Curry told KNX Radio. “The first thing we had to do was start throwing ladders at the building and pick people off the second floor.”

Television footage showed flames shooting from windows and victims lying on the street and sidewalks near the Wilmington Hotel.

“I opened the door and flames came in, just rushed into my room,” resident Paul Gordon told KABC-TV.  “I was able to close the door and go out the window.”

A man staying on the first floor of the 20-unit building died at the scene, city fire spokesman Erik Scott said. Two people were hospitalized with injuries that were moderate to serious, and 10 others went to hospitals with minor injuries.

A child about 8 was among those hurt, Scott said.

It took more than 100 firefighters about an hour to extinguish the blaze in Wilmington.

The Red Cross was providing assistance to more than 15 people displaced from the hotel.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. The hotel had functional smoke alarms, Scott said.

Officials did not immediately release a damage estimate.

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