8 hurt as 'suspicious' fire rips through L.A. high-rise

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LOS ANGELES -- Crews fought flames as residents desperately tried to escape a fire at a high-rise apartment building in Los Angeles Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out around 8:30 a.m. at the Barrington Plaza apartments, on Wilshire Boulevard near the west Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood.

Eight people were hurt, including at least one with serious injuries, fire officials said around 10 a.m. Around the same time, crews said they had knocked down the majority of the flames and the blaze was under control.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire, but Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said it appeared to be "suspicious," according to KTLA.

When the fire started, residents could be seen gathering on the roof of the high-rise as flames raged on the sixth floor. An LAFD helicopter hovered over the roof and dropped rescuers down to help the residents.

Crews fought the blaze by using their trucks' extended ladders to lift firefighters several stories high with hose lines, spraying the flames directly. Other crews were positioned on an apartment balcony near the center of the blaze.

Fire department helicopters ferried residents to a nearby Veteran Affairs' medical center.

The 25-story tower has more than 380 residential units and is one of several buildings that make up the Barrington Plaza complex, according to KTLA. The same residential building burned in 2013, hurting eight people and causing millions of dollars in damage.

"A stretch of Wilshire could be seen blocked off by fire trucks and ambulances," KTLA's Tracy Bloom wrote. "With one of the busiest streets in the area effectively shut down, traffic was snarled in the area during the morning commute."

Firefighters initially reported that residents had leaped from windows to escape the flames, before later confirming that no one had actually jumped.

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