Firefighters rescued a man from a burning duplex Monday morning during a fire that authorities said might have been started by a lit cigarette.
The man was unresponsive when he was found in a hallway during the 1:30 a.m. firefight in the 200 block of West 50th Street. Fire-rescue personnel administered CPR and the man was hospitalized in "grave" condition, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The resident, identified as a man in his 60s, suffered "some significant burns" and smoke inhalation.
"There's no telling how long he was in there suffering," said neighbor Diamond Coleman.
About 40 firefighters, some with chainsaws used to cut holes in the roof to remove hot smoke and gas, responded to the fire. No other buildings were damaged.
Smoke alarms were found in the residence, but authorities said they did not alert occupants to the fire.
"At this point, it does not appear they were working," said Battalion Chief Kristin Crowley, of the Los Angeles Fire Department. "Make sure you have working smoke alarms. Those actually save lives."
LAFD personnel distributed smoke alarms and batteries in the neighborhood Monday morning. The department has responded to 16 structure fires involving fatalities so far this year.