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Three people suffered serious injuries from smoke inhalation after a fire ripped through two apartment buildings in Northridge late Saturday, according to fire officials.

The fire was reported at 10:05 p.m. at two 16-unit, garden-style apartment buildings located next to each other at 8651 N. Wilbur Ave., the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.

About 50 residents were displaced by the fire, and some had to be rescued from the flames, authorities said.

“Several large palm trees and the west half of the building (8 of the units) were fully involved with fire,” the LAFD said in an incident report. “Embers landed on the roof of the second building (to the east) and started a surface fire on the roof of the second building.”

Eighty-one firefighters responded to the blaze, extinguishing the tree fires, eight west-side apartment units and a fire atop the second building. The entire second building and east half of the first apartment building were protected, LAFD said.

The three people who suffered severe smoke inhalation were taken to a hospital in serious condition. Two other people with minor injuries declined transport.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.