DATE/TIME: 011700/1500PST
RELEASE: 00-009


An elderly man and his wife were taken to area hospitals late this morning, both suffering from smoke inhalation. The woman was also suffering from burns. Two neighbors rescued the woman from the burning condo; neither of them was injured. Fire Investigators have an idea of what caused the fire, but continue to investigate the incident. None of the other condos in the building were damaged by the fire.

Las Vegas Firefighters were called to the HERITAGE DEL RAY CONDOS at 6750 Del Rey Ave (Oakey & Rainbow) at 11:09AM, Monday morning. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found heavy black smoke coming from a garage in the 2-story wood frame/stucco building. Firefighters were also told that an elderly man might be trapped inside. Firefighters quickly entered the burning unit to search for the man, but were unable to locate anyone. It was a short time later that they discovered that the man had gotten out of the unit before the fire department arrived on the scene.

The 85 year old manís wife was rescued from the condo by two neighbors who saw smoke coming from the unit and went to investigate. Michael Quenga, 39 and Cody Maldonado, 22 live in another unit just down the drive. They were working on a van outside when they noticed smoke coming from Condo #156. They went to investigate and found the smoke coming out a door in the garage, which led to the inside of the condo. They went to the door and heard a woman yelling for help. The men said the thick black smoke was almost completely down to the floor, but they found a flashlight and crawled into the unit. They found an elderly lady lying in bed, in one of the bedrooms. The bed was on fire, as well as her clothing. The men pulled the woman from the bed and dragged her outside. She told the men her husband was still inside and the men tried two more times to re-enter the building, but they said the fire was too intense for them to go back inside. Just then firefighters arrived on the scene and the men told the firefighters about the husband. Fire Paramedics gave both Quenga and Maldonado oxygen on the scene, but they refused to be taken to the hospital to be checked out.

The elderly lady was taken to University Medical Center suffering from burns on her chest and her hair was singed. Paramedics were more concerned about heat and smoke inhalation. Her 85-year-old husband was taken to Valley Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

The fire damaged two bedrooms in the apartment. The rest of the unit suffered smoke damage. Damage was estimated at $10,000. The two bedrooms, that were damaged, were on opposite sides of the condo. The husband told Fire Investigators, later at the hospital, that earlier in the morning he found his wife in one of the bedrooms with her clothing on fire. He said he put the fire out and thought it was completely out. A short time later, both the rooms were on fire. He told Fire Investigators that his wife was suffering from a psychological disorder and was receiving treatment for it. Fire Investigators want to talk to the woman about the incident, but were unable to because of her injuries. The incident remains under investigation.