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Fire damages residential Los Angeles high-rise

High rise resident Avi Abril center is taken waiting ambulance site high rise apartment building fire Friday Oct. 18 2013

High rise resident Avi Abril, center, is taken to a waiting ambulance at the site of a high rise apartment building fire Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, in Los Angeles. Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said three people have been taken to hospitals due to smoke exposure. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

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Updated: October 18, 2013 6:01PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eight people, including a child in critical condition, were taken to hospitals on Friday with injuries sustained in a residential high-rise fire in Los Angeles that was mostly confined to one apartment, authorities said.

The injured people included three firefighters — two with leg burns and one with an ear burn, Los Angeles Fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said. Other injuries involved smoke exposure.

The blaze was reported at 11:43 a.m. in a two-bedroom unit on the 11th floor of 25-story Barrington Plaza on Wilshire Boulevard. The tower has about 700 people living in nearly 400 rental units.

Large flames could be seen on the side of the high-rise during the height of the blaze.

Humphrey said the building, constructed in 1961, was not equipped with sprinklers because the devices weren’t required for buildings of that era.

A cursory look at inspection records showed the building was up to code, he said, noting the fire department would be taking a closer look at the records in the coming days.

Heavy smoke poured from the building as more than 200 firefighters responded and scores of residents evacuated.

Most residents weren’t home during the mid-day fire. Humphrey said some residents on upper floors didn’t evacuate.

The complex includes several buildings but only one was involved in the fire, he said.

The blaze was declared out in 71 minutes but firefighters continued to search door to door. The fire was largely contained to the single unit, though there was smoke and water damage to neighboring units, Humphrey said.

Two investigators were examining the unit to determine the fire’s origin and cause. It’s unclear where the unit’s occupant was when the fire broke out, Humphrey said.

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