A Las Vegas teenager was severely cut by broken glass after his house caught fire Thursday afternoon on the city's Eastside. Fire investigators ruled the fire accidental.
Fire dispatchers received a call at 3:20 p.m. that a house was on fire near the intersection of Wengert Ave and S. 13th St. and children might possibly be in the house. But when firefighters arrived in the area, they could not find a fire in any of the houses. Firefighters could see smoke a small distance beyond and found the house at 1307 S. 17th St. on fire. Flames were just beginning to come through the roof of the one-story wood frame/stucco house.
Firefighters were first hampered by three teens that were trying to enter the smoke filled house to rescue some pets. As firefighters physically had to move the teens back, one of them tried to enter the house by breaking a window. In the process he suffered a severe laceration to his arm and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance for treatment.
Firefighters entered the house and found the kitchen area heavily involved with fire. The fire had extended into the attic area also. It took firefighters only a few minutes to bring the fire under control.
The fire gutted the kitchen and damaged the living room. There was damage to the attic area and slight smoke damage throughout the rest of the house. Damage was estimated at $100,000.
Fire investigators ruled the fire accidental, starting in a pan on the stove. No one was home when the fire started. The teen that was injured, lives in the house. He was visiting some friends down the street when he saw smoke coming from his house. He and two other teen friends ran to the house and tried to enter the smoke filled house several times to retrieve two dogs and a cat. When they got to the house two other neighbors were already there, one knocking on the front door and another using a garden hose to spray water on the roof. A few minutes later firefighters arrived.
A mother and two small children live in the house along with the teen. Neighbors told investigators that the mother and two small children had left the house about a half hour before the fire started. She did not arrive back at the house while firefighters were on scene.
The owner of the house (the house is rented) arrived on scene and told firefighters that he would work with the family on a place to stay and notify the American Red Cross.
It was just an hour earlier that firefighters were working another kitchen fire in the city. That fire also sent a woman to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires in Las Vegas.