LONG BEACH, Calif., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Fire swept through a large apartment complex in Long Beach, Calif., killing two people and injuring 18, including six firefighters.
The fire at the 360-unit complex appeared to have been sparked accidentally, officials told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Residents of the three-story complex needed ladders to escape the smoky fire that burned into the evening Friday and required the efforts of about 200 firefighters to knock down, the Press-Telegram said.
Fire Chief Dave Ellis said the fire quickly spread after the flames got into the ventilation system. The rapid spread of the blaze had raised initial suspicion that it had been the work of an arsonist, but Ellis said that theory was no longer in play.
An investigation in to the cause of the blaze was being conducted Saturday.