A man died and 15 other people were injured after a fire ravaged a motel in South Los Angeles, authorities have confirmed.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the blaze was reported at 3.13am in the 20-unit motel located at 111 E. C Street in Wilmington. The fire took nearly an hour to extinguish, with over 100 firefighters on the scene CBS Los Angeles reported.
LAFD's Ronnie Villanueva told reporters: "There were over 100 firefighters, so we had 16 companies, five command teams, paramedic rescues — so we had a lot of resources we threw on this immediately."
One adult male, who fire officials said lived on the first floor, was pronounced dead at the scene. About 15 other motel guests were hurt with minor to moderate injuries. Twelve injured, including one child, were transported to hospital. According to ABC7, officials attributed the victims' injuries to jumping from the building to escape the fire.
Motel guest Manuel Sanchez told CBS Los Angeles: "There were people hanging out their windows, jumping out their windows. It was just chaotic, there was nothing we could do but look at people jump for their lives."
Although the fire was calmed around 4.30am, a small explosion on the second floor of the building occurred at around 5.30am, ABC7 reported. One firefighter, who was injured, is expected to be okay.
In a series of tweets LAFD announced that the motel had 29 occupants in its 20 units and that the motel did have functional smoke alarms. The displaced occupants were being assisted by the Red Cross and Council member Joe Buscaino.
ABC7 reported that the cause of the fire was under investigation and that arson investigators were on the scene.