Los Angeles apartment fire kills 2, injures 3

LOS ANGELES (AP) Fire raced through a Los Angeles apartment building early Thursday, killing two people, injuring three and leaving more than 25 people shivering after they were evacuated from buildings in the area.

The victims' names were not immediately released. One man in front of the building said he believed his 90-year-old mother perished in the blaze. Another man said he believed his brother was a victim.

The fire is considered suspicious because there was fire on both floors and it spread so swiftly through the building, and the cause is under investigation, said Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. It took 104 firefighters 53 minutes to knock down the fire, he added.

The blaze on Bonnie Brae Street in the Echo Park area was reported at 12:18 a.m. Thursday. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire and they treated three injured people: one man who had jumped from the first floor, a 10-year-old child and an adult female with minor burns to her face from radiant heat, Humphrey said.

About 25 people from that complex and surrounding units were placed in ambulances and taken to the neighborhood fire station, where they were fed and kept warm until the Red Cross could take over, Humphrey said.

Losses were still being tabulated, Humphrey said, noting the building was heavily damaged.

The complex did not have fire sprinklers, but the bars on the windows did appear to be in compliance, he said.