Firefighters spent more than an hour battling a stubborn blaze at a condominium complex that displaced four families in Chatsworth on Tuesday, officials said.
Crews arrived on scene just before 5 p.m. at 22166 James Alan Circle, where a two-story condo unit was well involved, according to an alert from the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The flames would spread to four units in the complex, each about 1,300 square feet large, firefighters said. The affected units share a common attic within the 47-year-old wood frame and stucco building where the fire broke out.
The 122 firefighters who responded to the blaze were able to extinguish it by 6:15 p.m.
The American Red Cross will provide assistance to the four families who live in the units who have been displaced, according to LAFD. It was unknown how many individuals each family consisted of.
One of the residents, Jennifer Calderon, was away from home when the fire broke out. When she found out what happened, she first thought of her pets, she said.
"I was freaking out because I saw the roof and everything," she said. "I just saw everything in smoke and I thought, ‘Oh my God my dogs are dead.’ The firefighters had to stop me and I literally fell to the ground."
Firefighters went inside themselves to check for the dogs but found nothing. Luckily, it turned out, neighbors who had been home went in and saved them as soon as the blaze ignited.
“They are amazing neighbors,” Calderon said.
Firefighters remained on scene into the night, helping residents remove belongings from their charred homes.
Two LAFD firefighters suffered injuries that were not life-threatening while battling the flames. Officials did not specify where or how they were hurt but noted they had been aggressively battling wind-driven flames in 91-degree weather.
One bystander was also evaluated at the scene for smoke exposure, authorities said.
Arson investigators were still working to determine what caused the fire as well as the amount of monetary loss.
The incident was being treated as accidental, however, and firefighters suspected it could have been ignited by a propane tank or barbecue equipment used on one of the units' patios.