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'Suspicious' Motel Fire Kills One Man And Injures 15

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A 'suspicious' fire in a motel in Wilmington killed one man and caused several injuries.

The Wilmington Motel at 111 E. C. St. in Wilmington caught on fire this morning at around 3:15 a.m. It took 100 firefighters nearly an hour to put out the blaze, KTLA reports. Investigators deemed the fire 'suspicious,' and suspect arson as a possible cause due to how quickly the fire spread, according to City News Service.

Some residents of the two-story, 20-unit motel were forced to jump out upstairs windows to escape the fire. Others said they did not immediately hear the fire alarms, though the LAFD confirmed that they were working. One man, identified as Manuel, told KTLA that he helped catch a little girl who had to jump out a window. He said they also helped catch the girl's grandmother, though she broke her ankle in the fall.

Some neighbors also were upset at how long firefighters took to respond and put out the flames. However, LAFD Deputy Chief Daren Palacios said that it only took fire crews three minutes to arrive after receiving the 9-1-1 call, though there were some complications. A live wire electrified a fence surrounding the motel, and rescuers had to use chainsaws to cut through bars on the first floor windows.

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One adult male was killed and 15 of the 29 residents were injured, including an 8-year-old child. Ten had sustained minor injuries and two suffered moderate or serious injuries. Some were injured jumping out of the building.

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