GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) — A fire in an apartment building in a Los Angeles suburb injured eight people Thursday, including two firefighters who crashed through a collapsing first floor and landed in the burning basement, authorities said.
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The fire firefighters suffered only minor injuries. News video showed the firefighters being pulled from the building by colleagues.
“We do expect them to make a full recovery," Glendale Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas said.
Six other people, including a child, were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene or at a hospital and also were expected to recover.
Crews were called to the two-story, eight-unit building of the Los Angeles suburb shortly before 3 p.m. and found flames coming from the basement that had reached the first floor, authorities said.
Several people were trapped on the second floor before being rescued by firefighters, including a woman and her toddler.
“There was a mom holding her baby and they were panicking and they didn't know what to do,” passerby Raquel Ponce told KNBC-TV. “The smoke was already inside of their apartment. I ran over there and I started telling them to break the windows and kick the windows so that the baby could breathe.”
Maria Gutierrez said her father was inside the building.
“He heard an explosion, and he went running down,” she told KCBS-TV. “He said that the basement was on fire and that there was black smoke everywhere. He got hurt, he got burned, he has smoke inhalation and he’s in the hospital, but he’s OK, thank God.”
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
The apartment building, which was built in 1933, received major damage.
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