Blaze burns mixed-use building near Santa Monica Pier

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- A fire broke out in a mixed-use residential building near the Santa Monica Pier Saturday night, scaring visitors at the popular spot.

Santa Monica firefighters responded to the second-alarm fire around 7:45 p.m. in the 1600 block of Ocean Front Walk. Witnesses said the fire spread quickly as thick, black smoke filled the air.

Workers at a neighboring restaurant raced inside the Overlook Hotel to help evacuate residents inside the units.

Three people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. At least 16 people in the two-story building were displaced, according to fire officials.

Santa Monica fire crews called in Los Angeles firefighters to help battle the blaze.

Frightened bystanders at the Santa Monica Pier took photos and videos as the flames lit the sky. The photos showed the flames in the rear of the apartment building that had units above small shops.

Authorities closed Appian Way to Seaside Terrace and the entrance to the No. 1 parking lot near the pier.

The blaze was knocked down by 8:30 p.m. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
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