2 firefighters fall through floor while battling apartment blaze

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GLENDALE, Calif. -- Fire engulfed a two-story Glendale apartment building Thursday, forcing some residents to escape through windows -- leaving at least three of them suffering from smoke inhalation -- while two firefighters sustained minor injuries when they fell through the first floor of the burning structure into the basement.

The fire erupted around 2:40 p.m. in the building in the 100 block of 140 Carr Drive, rapidly filling the interior with smoke, which poured out of windows.

Initial calls indicated some residents were trapped inside the building, and there were reports of people crawling out of or being pulled through windows of the structure.

Six patients were treated at the scene.

As crews worked to douse the blaze, a mayday call was issued when two firefighters fell through the first floor of the building, tumbling to the burning, smoke-filled basement below. The call prompted a frantic rescue effort as crews worked to reach the firefighters, who were pulled from the structure a short time later.

Lanzas said both firefighters suffered only minor injuries, but both were taken to a hospital to be evaluated.

An hour into the firefight, crews reported that while much of the open flame appeared to have been knocked down, the fire was still burning inside the wall on one side the of building, threatening the integrity of the structure.

There was no immediate word on what sparked the blaze or how many people live in the building.

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