Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Brentwood Fire Damages Ten Apartments at Barrington Plaza at 11740 Wilshire in West LA

Thirteen injuries after second fire at the property since 2013

 

February 4, 2020

Wilshire Blvd was filled with 40 fire engines, as a fire at the Barrington Plaza apartment damages ten

A five alarm fire broke out Wednesday at 11740 Wilshire Blvd damaged ten apartments, drawing 350 firemen and leaving tenants without access to the building.

Thirteen people were injured, including two firefighters and two civilians in critical condition. 150 residents had to seek alternative accommodations.

The 25-story apartment building was also the scene of a major fire in 2013.

The fire began on the sixth floor at the Barrington Plaza complex around 8:37 a.m., according to a Los Angeles Fire Department press release. The building is one of three in the complex.

Thick, dark smoke and flames could be seen billowing from the building's southeast corner as firemen battled the blaze, driven by wind gusts of up to 35 mph. Multiple windows shattered from the intense heat.

Hundreds of firefighters from multiple agencies responded and knocked the blaze down in approximately an hour and 19 minutes, according to LAFD.

Officials initially said 13 people were injured. Of those, one is in grave condition and another is in critical condition, said the LA Fire Dept.

During a press conference, LAFD spokesman Erik Scott said that two of the 13 injured were firefighters who sustained minor burns and were treated at a local hospital.

The fire broke out the sixth floor of 25-story Barrington Plaza around 830 am this morning, Los Angeles Fire Department said. The buiding is owned by Douglas Emmett.

Santa Monica-headquartered REIT Douglas Emmett owns, among many other properties, the Santa Monica Shores at 2720 Neilson Way and the 100 Wilshire Building at the West end of Wilshire Blvd. The publicly traded company was sued in 2014 after a Barrington Plaza fire one year earlier that injured two people and displaced 150 residents.

According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, the lawsuit filed on behalf of tenants by plaintiffs' attorney Mark Geragos assailed Emmett for deficient fire alarms, an intercom system that was "defective or not utilized" per the complaint, and a non-existent sprinkler system.

Wilshire Blvd was still closed at 4 pm Wednesday

The case wound its way through the court for five years, even reaching a jury trial before settling in January 2019, right before jurors were set to return their verdict form. Whether the civil lawsuit prompted safety changes at the Barrington Plaza is unclear.

The company later responded with a statement that read in part: "Our deepest sympathies go out to all who have been impacted by today's fire. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our residents who live in Barrington Plaza. For safety concerns, all residents who live in Barrington Plaza, Tower A will not be able to return to their units today. In order to accommodate residents who have been displaced, we have reserved a block of hotel rooms at local area hotels and residents have been contacted individually with this information."

 

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