Fire damages apartment units under construction

Wave Wire Services

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — A massive fire at an apartment building in the framing stages of construction forced evacuations of nearby residents Nov. 28 just west of the city of Vernon and sent two people to hospitals with burn injuries.

Los Angeles Fire Department crews responded at 3:25 a.m. to the fire at 1585 E. Vernon St. between Lima Street and Morgan Avenue, where they found the flames had spread to six other buildings, according LAFD spokesman Nicholas Prange.

It took more than 140 firefighters one hour and 18 minutes to put out the flames. Los Angeles County Fire Department crews also assisted, Prange said.

Of the seven buildings impacted by the fire, five of them were deemed a total loss, according to the fire department. As a result, 17 residents were unable to return to their homes. 

The Red Cross was contacted to assist residents whose homes might be too damaged to immediately occupy.

A 66-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman were taken to hospitals with serious burn injuries, according to the fire department. A 30-year-old man was also evaluated on scene, but declined to be taken to a hospital.

It was unclear what set off the blaze. The fire department’s arson section will be in charge of investigating the cause of the fire.