A 94-year-old man was in grave condition Wednesday morning after being pulled from a burning garage by two good Samaritan neighbors who were hurt during the rescue, officials said.
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The fire broke out about 9:45 a.m. in the 14000 block of South Brand Boulevard in Mission Hills, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The man's granddaughter saw smoke and called 911 before alerting her grandfather, fire officials said. She found him in the garage, where he had tried to start a car that may have backfired.
The man, who neighbors said was 94 years old, was overcome by smoke and flames when two good Samaritan neighbors pulled him out of the garage, officials said.
"I yelled, 'No, don't go back in there,'" one of the rescuers said. "He came back out and his hair was on fire. I saw him and he collapsed 2 feet inside the garage, and I went in there and dragged him out."
Firefighters said the neighbors may have saved the man's life.
"Without their help, personally I don't think he would have been able to get out by himself," LA Fire Chief Jose Cronenbold said.
The blaze was confined to the garage and was knocked down in 16 minutes, but the man suffered critical burn injuries, officials said.
Two men who helped save him, ages 32 and 63, were also hospitalized with burns.
The 90-year-old man was in "grave" condition at the hospital as of Wednesday afternoon. The 32-year-old was in fair condition, and the 63-year-old was in serious condition, fire officials said.
Kathy Vara contributed to this report.