Los Angeles, CA- Four families are expected to be allowed back into a partially collapsed building near Koreatown today to gather their belongings before the building is demolished.
At least three people were injured when the front of the two-story fourplex at 1625 S. Westmoreland Ave., near Washington Boulevard, came down just before 9 p.m. Sunday, said d’Lisa Davies of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
“It was a 35 foot by 20 foot section that collapsed,” Davies said.
Three people were briefly trapped in the rubble and were rescued, including a 36-year-old woman who had been on the second floor and suffered cuts to her head.
She was transported to a nearby hospital, and was expected to be OK, Davies said.
The two others who were pulled out did not want to be taken to a hospital, she said.
Fire officials estimate about 20 to 30 people were inside the building when the front portion collapsed.
Davies said a neighboring eight-unit building was evacuated because the damaged building was leaning toward it.
Those residents were expected to return as soon as the partially collapsed building was stabilized.
The Red Cross offered to find temporary housing for the displaced families, but they declined and said they would stay with family members, she said.
Some 70 firefighters, ambulance and search and rescue crews rushed to
the scene after the collapse, which may have been caused by a natural gas explosion.
Neighbors and residents reported hearing a hissing sound like a natural gas leak and then a loud explosion, followed by chaos and panic.
The DWP and The Gas Co. shut down power and gas to the structure.
Davies said after an inspection, the city’s Building & Safety Department condemned the building.
All occupants have been accounted for, Davies said.
The cause of the collapse is under investigation.