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LAPD officers pull woman from burning tent on skid row sidewalk

February 28, 2013 | 11:08 am

Photo: The tent that caught fire in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles Thursday. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

A Los Angeles police officer sustained minor burns early Thursday after rescuing a woman whose sidewalk tent caught fire in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles.

The incident was reported by LAPD officers with the Safer Cities Initiative task force who were patrolling around 3 a.m. near the intersection of 5th Street and Towne Avenue.

Officer Kyle Rice, Officer Martin Garcia and Sgt. Mike Bautista stopped when they noticed that the tent was on fire and the silhouette of someone apparently sleeping on the floor of the tent, authorities said. They woke up a woman inside, who began to get dressed.

As flames began to spread, the officers became fearful for the woman's safety so they reached into the tent and pulled her out, authorities said. As she was being removed, there was a minor explosion and the tent was consumed in flames.

The woman, who was not immediately identified, suffered minor burns to her face but she refused treatment. Los Angeles firefighters extinguished the blaze, and their investigation determined that a candle in the tent caused it. The explosion was the result of a battery that caught on fire. 

Rice suffered minor burns to his arm and face, as well as effects of smoke inhalation.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: A tent burns in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles on Thursday. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

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