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Firefighter in grave condition after ceiling collapse in Hollywood Hills

February 17, 2011 |  7:21 am

Arson A Los Angeles city firefighter was battling for his life Thursday after a ceiling collapsed during an overnight blaze in the Hollywood Hills.

Sprinklers in the residence on North Viewsite Drive, as well as water from fire hoses, weakened the ceiling, which collapsed and injured firefighters inside, officials said.

Firefighters had to use chainsaws to gain access to the injured man and pull him out, City News Service reported. The critically injured firefighter was not breathing after he was rescued and required resuscitation at the scene. He was then immediately rushed to the hospital. His name has not been released.

Fire Department officials were not immediately available for comment, but were interviewed early Thursday morning by television crews.

"He is fighting for his life at this time," one official told KNBC-TV, Channel 4.

Two firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and three from the L.A. City Fire Department also were injured but were in good condition, reports said.

The fire was reported in the 1500 block of North Viewsite Drive, near Sunset Plaza, and began at 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, burning about 90 minutes.

The home's owner and another person escaped without injury.


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Photo: An arson investigator at the scene of the fire on North Viewsite Drive in the Hollywood Hills. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times