Four firefighters were injured battling a greater-alarm structure fire in South Los Angeles early Thursday, officials said.
The blaze was reported at about 3:20 a.m. and was burning a building at 943 East 31st Street. About 60 firefighters fought the fire, said Los Angeles Fire Department Chief James Featherstone.
Since no one was around to report the fire right away, firefighters arrived to an 8,000-square-foot building completely engulfed in flames.
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One fell through the roof of the building while trying to ventilate it, and the three others suffered other injuries while trying to rescue the fallen firefighter, Featherstone said.
"They could see him come down, and they immediately performed that rescue," said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jamie Moore.
When the roof caved in, the firefighter fell about 20 feet and suffered second- and third-degree burns, Moore said.
"We never know the actual integrity of structures we go into or on, so there was no telling," Moore said.
The firefighters were being treated at a burn center, and their injuries were considered non-life threatening, Featherstone said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
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