The American Red Cross is assisting a family of five this afternoon after
fire gutted their apartment. One woman was taken to University Medical Center
suffering from smoke inhalation after she jumped from her second story balcony
because flames blocked her apartment door. The cause of the fire is under
Las Vegas Firefighters responded to the RACQUET CLUB APARTMENTS at 80 S.
Martin L. King Blvd. (Bonanza & MLK) at 12:49PM, Saturday afternoon.
Firefighters could see a column of thick black smoke in the sky as they left
their fire stations. On arrival, they found heavy smoke and flames from a
downstairs apartment in a 2-story wood frame/stucco apartment building with
four apartments. The next building is separated by a breezeway which has
concrete stairs leading to the second story. At the top of the stairs is a
landing made of wood. A woman who was in her second story apartment tried to
escape the building by way of the stairs, but found the landing on fire. She
jumped from her apartment balcony. She was taken to UMC for observation,
suffering from smoke inhalation.
Because of the intensity of the fire, a second alarm was sounded, but
Firefighters managed to bring the fire under control in less than fifteen
minutes. The downstairs apartment was destroyed, the other three apartments
suffered light smoke damage. The wood landing will also have to be replaced.
Damage was estimated at $50,000.
Michelle Sims, 29 who lives in the apartment, told Fire Investigators that
she way lying down in her bedroom when she heard the smoke detector activate.
She got up to investigate and found the children’s bedroom fully involved.
She immediately ran outside and found that her two sons, ages 7 & 9 and
daughter, age 12 were outside playing and were safe. Her 47 year old mother,
who also lives in the apartment, was across the complex washing clothes.
Apartment management and maintenance personnel responded quickly to the scene
and used approximately ten fire extinguishers from around the apartment
complex in an attempt to battle the blaze, but the fire was too intense for
them to put it out.
Firefighters were slightly hampered when they arrived on the scene and found
two autos parked at a fire hydrant, making it difficult for them to hook their
hoses to the hydrant. People are reminded that parking in a fire lane, on a
red curb or at a fire hydrant is illegal in the city and a citation can be
issued which carries a fine of $100. A Metro officer cited the illegally
parked vehicles.
The American Red Cross is working with the people who live in the four
apartments. Electricity had to be shut off to the four units, so the people
will not be permitted to stay in their units.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.