A transient staying beneath a "massive" hillside tree in Echo Park was trapped for nearly 30 minutes Monday when it toppled over following a night of heavy rainfall, bringing down energized electric wires and significantly damaging an adjacent duplex, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman said.
Rescuers were called just before 8 a.m. to 1332 Laveta Terrace, said the LAFD's Brian Humphrey. The first firefighters to show up stabilized the trapped man, whose name was not released, and used a chainsaw to cut a rescue path and lessen the weight on him.
More firefighters, including those specializing in urban search-and-rescue operations, arrived to deploy a 50 ton-capable extended boom to lift the tree off the man, who “amazingly sustained only a minor injury” and declined to be taken to a hospital, according to Humphrey.
He said the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety was sent to assess damage to the duplex, where three residents were displaced -- a man and woman in a unit that was red-tagged, and a man who lives in the other unit, which was yellow-tagged.
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The residents declined assistance from the American Red Cross, according to the LAFD.