Los Angeles County Fire Department. Photo by MyNewsLA.com
Los Angeles County Fire Department. Photo by MyNewsLA.com

A firefighter-paramedic on an unrelated medical call Thursday afternoon freed a man and woman from an abandoned Westlake District commercial building that ended up being gutted by fire.

The fire was reported about 4:30 p.m. at a shuttered hillside building at 306 Union Place, near Third Street, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Someone alerted the paramedic to smoke coming from the boarded up building and as he was circling the structure to report the situation to dispatch, he saw the man and woman trapped inside, behind a barred window, Humphrey said.

He used an ax to pry open the bars and free the two. The woman suffered only a lacerated hand and was treated at the scene and released while the man declined treatment and left the area, Humphrey said.

Humphrey had no information about what the man and woman were doing inside the building, but it appeared they were not authorized to be on the premises.

Meanwhile, fire tore through the building. Reports from the scene showed firefighters atop an adjacent apartment building fighting flames burning through the affected structure’s roof.

Eighty-five firefighters responded and knocked down the bulk of the blaze in 37 minutes, though units remained on scene dousing hot spots, Humphrey said.

–City News Service

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