Residents rescued from windows in Los Angeles apartment fire that hurt 13 people, 2 critically

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A morning fire at an apartment building near downtown Los Angeles injured 13 people Saturday, including a woman who jumped from a window and a 2-year-old girl who suffered third-degree burns, authorities said.

Crews plucked residents from windows in the three-story building after the fire broke out about 8:45 a.m. in a corner apartment, city fire Capt. Steve Ruda said.

"We had a ladder in nearly every window. People left their breakfast plates on the table as they scrambled to get out quickly," he said.

The injuries included smoke inhalation, broken bones and scrapes, Ruda said. Two people were in critical condition, including the 2-year-old, who was being treated at a burn center.

One woman was critically injured when she broke a leg while jumping from the building, Ruda said.

Two other children were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, fire officials said.

All 13 injured people were expected to survive.

Crews found hanging from one window a belt, a blanket and an electrical cord tied together as a makeshift climbing rope. It was unclear if it was used in an escape.

The fire started on the second floor of the 42-unit apartment building in a densely populated area about a mile west of downtown. At least one second-floor unit was destroyed, and flames lapped up to third floor.

"This was a large place. It could have been a lot worse," Ruda said.

Ruda didn't know how many people were living in the building. He said all smoke and fire detectors appeared to be working correctly.

Residents of at least eight units damaged by smoke or fire were of being temporarily relocated.

The fire caused an estimated $255,000 in damage, fire spokesman Erik Scott said.

The cause was under investigation.