Dozens displaced after fire forced demolition of 2-story apartment building in Historic South-Central

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Crews had to demolish a two-story apartment building that burned and partially collapsed in the Historic South-Central neighborhood early Saturday, the first of two destructive fires the L.A. Fire Department battled that day.

American Red Cross officials on Sunday said they helped shelter 73 people displaced in the fire that erupted around 3 a.m. yesterday in the 4000 block of South Main Street, near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Flames apparently ignited in the storage-packed basement of the 24-unit building that was built in 1924, according to the Fire Department.

With many residents asleep, firefighters had to check each unit for evacuation as the blaze spread to the rest of the structure. Everyone made it out, and only one person required further care at a hospital for smoke inhalation, according to officials.

“As soon as the residents were safely outside, buckling walls and sagging floors led to the incident commander’s decision to withdraw all crews from the building,” a report from LAFD said. “The fight continued from outside, with firefighters directing hose streams through windows of every unit.”

At some point, one side of the building came down.

“Due to the extensive fire damage and partial collapse, the only option was to tear down the building,” the Fire Department’s statement said.

More than 100 firefighters battled the flames that morning. Personnel remained at the site Sunday to monitor any hot spots.

Red Cross also responded to the scene and helped secure hotel accommodations for those who needed them. Organization officials said they continue to assist residents during the recovery process.

Hours after the fire in Historic South-Central, the Fire Department tackled another blaze at a warehouse near Little Tokyo, which sent 12 firefighters to the hospital.

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