A man was killed and seven people were hurt Friday, including one in critical condition from injuries suffered in a fire caused by a space heater that damaged both floors of the 28-unit Venice Hotel in the Mid City area of Los Angeles, authorities said.
Firefighters were called to the hotel at 8686 Venice Blvd., near Cattaraugus Avenue, just after 2 a.m. and discovered flames in several rooms, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
“Fire investigators have determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, due to a space heater being too close to combustible materials,” Nicholas Prange, also of the LAFD, said in a statement late Friday morning.
Paul Bisland, 62, of Los Angeles died at the scene, according to the coroner’s office.
According to the LAFD, a man was hospitalized in critical condition and a man and a woman who had been hospitalized in grave condition later were upgraded to serious condition.
One man was hospitalized in fair condition, and another man was treated at the scene for a minor injury. A woman was treated at a hospital for an unspecified injury. And a firefighter was treated for a “non-life-threatening” respiratory issue and was in fair condition, according to the LAFD.
Resident Narayana Cabral lived at the Venice Hotel for 19 years with his 60-year-old mother, who he said had to jump from a second-floor unit to safety when flames erupted.
“I got out of the building; she was still stuck in there,” Cabral told NBC4. “I heard her screaming for me, so I ran around the building to try to get to her, (but) there was so much smoke, so she had to jump out the window. She hit the ground hard, pretty concussed, swollen eye. Then, I had to tear a fence down for her to be able to make it over, then I made a barricade for her to climb over… and I drove her to the hospital and she was in a lot of pain.”
Cabral said his mother was hanging from a ledge when her hands slipped and she landed on the sidewalk below.
A total of 105 firefighters extinguished the flames in 39 minutes and a knockdown was declared at 2:43 a.m., Humphrey said.
Traffic was routed around the area in the aftermath of the fire.