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Arson team to investigate San Pedro motel fire that injured 14

January 22, 2013 |  7:41 am

Arson investigators were called to the scene of an early morning fire that tore through a San Pedro motel Tuesday, forcing one person to jump from the two-story building and sending a dozen people to the hospital, authorities said.

The fire broke out at 1001 S. Palos Verdes St. about 3:30 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Capt. Jaime Moore told KTLA that firefighters returning from a medical call spotted smoke in the area and discovered flames on the first floor of the 14-unit building.

Some residents were prepared to jump from the building but firefighters were able to rescue them in time, Moore said. One person did jump, he said.

About 150 firefighters knocked down the blaze about half an hour later, LAFD said.

Fourteen people were treated at the scene, Moore told KTLA, including a dozen who were hospitalized with injuries, including third-degree burns and severe smoke inhalation. Three patients were in critical condition, he said.

Moore said fire officials were concerned by "how quickly this fire traveled and how hot it was," prompting the call for arson investigators. Moore said the fire burned so hot that working smoke detectors were "quickly overcome" by the smoke and heat.

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-- Kate Mather

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