An early-morning fire investigators believe was ignited by a space heater left one person dead and seven others injured, including one firefighter, after erupting in a Mid-City neighborhood hotel Friday.
Emergency crews were called to the two-story building in the 8600 block of Venice Boulevard when the fire broke out just after 2 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Jaime Moore said.
Firefighters arrived to find smoke and fire on the first floor of the building as residents were trying to escape.
The responding firefighters split up, with some battling the blaze and others helping residents evacuate, Moore said.
“Individuals were actually breaking out windows and going through their windows to escape the fire,” he said.
One man was found inside the building and pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as 62-year-old Paul Bisland, according to the county coroner's office.
Several victims were transported by ambulance to area hospitals, including one man who remained in critical condition, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department news release.
Another man and a woman who were transported in grave condition were later said to be in serious condition.
A third man was listed in fair condition.
Another patient, also a man, declined ambulance transport and was assessed for a minor injury at the scene.
One firefighter was being evaluated for a non-life threatening respiratory issue, according to the news release.
The Fire Department later discovered a seventh injured patient, a woman, was taken to a hospital in a private vehicle after suffering injuries in the fire.
The woman had either jumped or fallen from a second-story window during the incident, Capt. Branden Silverman said.
The victim is in serious condition but is expected to recover, he said.
Investigators believe that combustable materials left too close to a space heater started the blaze.
“We need to give space heaters space … We need to have at least 36 inches of space from any combustable materials. It doesn’t take a flame to actually ignite something, just that constant heat,” Silverman said.
It took more than 100 firefighters about 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze.