Woman in Grave Condition After Rescue from Apartment Fire in South LA

A woman was in grave condition and a man was seriously injured after firefighters rescued the woman from a burning apartment building in South Los Angeles Monday night, fire officials said.

The fire was reported around 9:19 p.m. at a housing project in the 1500 block of East 54th Street, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived they found heavy smoke billowing from a two-story apartment building and a man nearby fighting the flames with a garden hose, according to the news release.

The man notified firefighters there was a woman trapped inside, firefighters said.

The firefighters pulled the man aside and began an aggressive, coordinated effort to battle the flames. Rescuers found the woman on the second floor with no pulse, and not breathing before carrying her away to safety, according to the news release.

Firefighters attempted to resuscitate the woman and continued providing life support as she was transported to a hospital. LAFD paramedics were able to restore the woman's heartbeat and breathing but she remained unconscious and in grave condition when she arrived at the hospital, according to the news release.

Firefighters also learned the man who attempted to fight the fire with a garden hose exhibited unstable vital signs and increasingly labored breathing from exposure to the smoke. The man was transported to a hospital in serious but stable condition, according to the news release.

About 32 firefighters battled the blaze, which was knocked down within about 16 minutes, according to the news release.

Firefighters said the 75-year-old apartment building was equipped with functioning smoke alarms, but it did not have optional fire sprinklers.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

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