Los Angeles firefighter injured in Hollywood Hills home fire clings to life

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Los Angeles City Fire Department officials say a firefighter remains in grave condition after a ceiling collapsed on him Wednesday night in a Hollywood Hills home. They haven’t released his name.

Officials say the injured firefighter is a 38-year veteran of the department who was eligible to retire next year. They say he’s also awaiting the arrival of his first grandchild.

Fire department spokesmen say he was in a group of firefighters who’d entered a burning three-level, 6,000-square-foot home on North Viewsite Drive above Sunset Plaza. Officials say the fire apparently started around a gas fireplace and quickly spread to the attic and walls, making it hard to fight.

When a ceiling collapsed, rescuers rushed in and used chainsaws to free the firefighter. Officials say he had no heartbeat and was not breathing when they pulled him out, but paramedics were able to resuscitate him.

In all, six firefighters were injured in what officials called the worst accident involving the department in three years. Two people who lived in the home, who’d moved in about a week before the fire, escaped without injury.