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L.A. firefighter in stable condition after being stabbed at downtown hotel [Updated]

May 18, 2010 | 12:41 pm
A Los Angeles city firefighter was in stable condition Tuesday after being stabbed in the thigh by an unknown assailant at the Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles police said.

The incident was reported around 10:50 a.m. when the firefighter, who was not immediately identified, responded to a medical call at the hotel near the intersection of 6th and Main streets.

Authorities closed down Main Street between 5th and 6th streets as they searched for a suspect.

The Cecil Hotel, which for years has served low-income residents, has had problems over the years with drug dealing and other crimes, according to police.

[Updated at 1:28 p.m.: The firefighter was identified as Charles Anthony MacDougall, a 9 1/2-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department. He was taken to County-USC Medical Center for treatment.

"According to his doctors, he is in very stable condition," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who visited him Tuesday morning.

MacDougall was stabbed several times in the back and upper chest, said LAFD Chief Leonard Thompson. He was expected to be released later Tuesday.

He and another firefighter had responded to a routine call, Thompson said. "We don't know all the details of what happened," he said.

LAPD officers set up a perimeter around Hotel Cecil on Main Street and cordoned off the block. They continued to search several of the hotel's upper floors and were reviewing videos, said LAPD Capt. Todd Chamberlain.

A full investigation is underway, but no one has been arrested.]

-- Corina Knoll and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: LAPD officers gather at the Cecil Hotel as some residents are allowed to leave. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times