UPDATE: Apartment Fire Caused by Unattended Candles Used During Long Beach Power Outage

UPDATE: Unattended candles used as a light source during Thursday's power outage have been identified as the cause of an early morning two-alarm fire in a Downtown Long Beach apartment that left two people seriously injured, Long Beach Fire Department officials said. 

The fire displaced 27 residents of the two-story apartment complex on the 400 block of Chestnut Avenue and seriously injured a man and a woman. 

According to fire officials, the apartment complex had been affected by the power outage that continues to darken pockets of downtown Long Beach intermittently, following a cable failure in the area's underground network system Wednesday afternoon. 

PREVIOUSLY: Two Long Beach Residents Seriously Injured in Apartment Fire

7/16/15 at 12:24PM | Two people were transported to the hospital with serious injuries early Thursday morning after being rescued by police officers from a two-alarm apartment fire in downtown Long Beach, authorities said.

According to Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) officials, bystanders in the area alerted a police officer about the fire at an apartment complex on the 400 block of Chestnut Avenue before fire units arrived, and directed him toward a back alley where two people were trapped inside.

The officer was able to rescue a 41-year-old man by using a nearby 4x4 piece of wood to dislodge security bars on the window of the apartment.

Two arriving officers were then able to assist in rescuing the second victim, a 33-year-old female, by pulling her to safety.

Paramedics were then able to transport the victims to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment.

According to authorities, the male victim sustained significant life-threatening injuries from thermal burns and smoke inhalation, and the female victim also sustained significant injuries and smoke inhalation.

Fire units responded to the fire at 1:53AM, arriving at the scene three minutes later and reporting heavy fire from a rear unit on the first floor of the two-story center hallway apartment complex.

Authorities said a second alarm was called at 2:03AM because of the size of the building and the number of residents needing assistance.

Firefighters confined the fire to the apartment of origin on the first floor, putting out the fire at 2:07AM. A unit directly above the fire also sustained significant smoke damage, fire officials said.

According to officials, 27 residents were displaced in the complex that holds 20 units, and Red Cross resources were provided.

Authorities shut off gas to the entire complex where power remains off due to a continued power outage that began Wednesday afternoon.

Both electricity and gas will remain off until the building can be safely returned to full operation, officials said.



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