One person died Tuesday morning after a fire in a central Las Vegas apartment complex that officials believe was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials.
The Clark County Fire Department also reported four injuries in the fire. The condition of the injured was unknown until Tuesday afternoon, but assistant fire chief Warren Whitney said three had been hospitalized.
The fire was first reported shortly after 10:51 a.m. at the Twain Estates Apartments complex at 3651 Arville St. Whitney. It started in a unit on the first floor and extended to the second floor.
About 30 firefighters responded to the scene, including crews with eight engines and three rescue units, said assistant fire chief Larry Haydu.
Resident Billie Bentley told the Review Journal that she was walking her dog around the compound when she heard a commotion near Building 41.
“I just thought it was a fire drill because they do that a lot,” said Bentley, who was walking home.
Moments later, a neighbor knocked urgently on her door and pointed out the fire.
“It gave me a terrible shock,” she said.
Shortly after noon, she and a handful of neighbors stood by, looking at the burned-out structure that was left. Firefighters were still putting out hot spots.
Resident Lawrence Duna said he emerged from his apartment to see flames and smoke rising in the sky and described the fire as “tremendous.”
“I was just talking to a guy and he took his kids out of the apartment in a smoking building,” said Duna, “and I’m so glad he did it.”
Resident Vivian Pang drove into the complex at around 11:30 a.m. and saw firefighters spraying the burned building near her home. She panicked and worried about her cat, but her place of residence was not damaged and her pet was fine.
“Shocked,” Pang said over the fire. “It’s something you don’t really think about, that it actually happens.”
The fire is being investigated further. An initial damage estimate was between $ 500,000 and $ 1 million, Whitney said Tuesday evening.
The Clark County coroner’s office will name the person who died once the relatives are notified.
The fire department last responded to the Twain Estates apartment complex on Feb. 18, said Erik Pappa, Clark County spokesman. The call came from a different apartment than Tuesday and involved an oven fire that came from a pot that was not spreading.
The department had not previously been called to the complex because of a fire for at least three years, said Pappa.
Contact Glenn Puit at [email protected] or 702-383-0390. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.