Motel fire in Los Angeles injures 6

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A motel fire in Los Angeles' Westlake district left six people injured, two of them critically. (KABC)

A motel fire in Los Angeles' Westlake district left six people injured, two of them critically.

The fire broke out at the JJ Park Motel in the 1900 block of West 3rd Street around 6 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Officials say 25 units in the building were affected. Residents climbed down from the second floor of the building to try to escape the flames. Firefighters say some other residents stepped in to make sure no one hit the ground.

"Some were even using tied bed sheets to lower themselves. Other individuals were working as teams and standing on each other's shoulders, kind of like a human ladder," said Erik Scott with the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Five people were transported to local hospitals; two of them were listed in critical condition due to burns and smoke inhalation. Fire officials say the patients were between the ages of 28 and 73.

Those who weren't injured still had to deal with the loss of Christmas.

"We just lost everything, Christmas presents and everything," said a young girl named Sarabia Cottingham. "I'm kind of shocked right now."

Cottingham's mom, Sabrina Word, says her daughter helped save her life.

"When we opened the door, there was so much smoke. I got scared and I panicked and I closed the door to go back in to try and open a window. She kept yelling at me for us to go now," said Word.

The American Red Cross and the owners of the building were making sure that displaced residents had a place to stay for the evening.

According to authorities, about 25 units of the 135-unit residential hotel were damaged by fire, smoke and water.

Investigators say the fire started in the stove area of a kitchen on the second floor. They say it appears to be accidental, but the investigation is ongoing.

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firefire rescuefire escapeu.s. & world
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