The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 8:37 A.M. on January 29, 2020 to 11740 Wilshire Blvd in Brentwood, where firefighters arrived to rescue over a dozen victims while fighting the fire.
As firefighters overhauled what they thought would be their only high-rise structure fire of the day (which began at 6:30 A.M. at 11601 Wilshire), they were alarmed to hear a very similar address come over their radios. Another structure fire was dispacted at 8:37 A.M. to 11740 Wilshire, with reports of "jumpers."
Crews just a few hundred yards away from this second dispatch tossed their equipment back in the apparatus and quickly responded down the block to find a 26-story residential high rise with fire blowing out of 7th story windows, and a man clinging to the side of the outer face of the building (who had not yet jumped, despite the reports). Truck 92 spotted their apparatus near the side of the building, placed their ground jacks (truck stabilizers), and extended the 100-foot aerial ladder to its maximum length. The tiller member of Truck 92 rode the tip of the aerial up to the patient, coming just close enough to reach him and effected the rescue, saving the man from the untenable room he had escaped from. LAFD's Airborne Task Force responded by air and assisted with evacuations from the roof, along with help from Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. In a coordinated effort, crews rescued a total of 15 people from the rooftop of the high-rise.
Firefighters ascended the interior stairways to find the 7th floor burning with a very hot and well-entrenched fire, fueled by high winds. Firefighters bested the flames in 73 minutes. In total, LAFD sent 335 personnel by ground and air to battle the blaze. Ultimately, 11 civilians and 3 firefighters sustained injuries during the course of the fire. One patient was in grave condition, while another was critical. Four patients were treated/released on scene, and LAFD Firefighter-Paramedics transported the remaining to area hospitals.
This high-rise was last inspected in June of 2019 and found to be in compliance with fire code regulations at that time. It was built in 1961, before fire sprinklers were required in this type of occupancy.
A total of 339 occupants were evacuated and the building was "red-tagged" (deemed unsafe on all floors) by Department of Building and Safety. Firefighters and law enforcement assisted residents with retrieving medications and other immediate needs from their residences. Crews have been working all through the night of the 29th and all day on the 30th, so far, to restore the building to a safe and livable condition. In the mean time, Barrington Plaza owners reserved blocks of rooms at several local hotels and updates can be found at BarringtonPlaza.info, or on their telephone hotline at 310-479-4191. A temporary shelter has been set up at Westwood Recreation Center, as well.
Arson investigators are working closely with LAPD to determine the cause of the fire. The investigation is active and ongoing. Investigators are combing through debris, examining evidence, and questioning witnesses in an effort to uncover facts surrounding the ignition of the fire.