Nearly 30 people were evacuated and a Metro Police officer was taken to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation after a two-alarm fire in an apartment building early Monday morning. The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental by Las Vegas fire investigators. The American Red Cross is assisting people who will be displaced because of the fire.
Fire dispatchers received a number of 9-1-1 calls at 3:12 a.m. that an apartment was on fire at 309 West Cincinnati Avenue. When firefighters arrived on scene, heavy flames were blowing out the windows and door of an upstairs apartment in the two-story concrete block apartment building with ten units.
The fire totally involved the apartment and broke out the windows in the process. This allowed heat and flames to spread to the building next door at 305 W. Cincinnati Ave and start an upstairs apartment in that building on fire. Because the fire had spread to a second building, a second alarm was dispatched to the fire which brought a total of 20 fire units with 60 fire personnel to the scene.
Las Vegas Metro Police also had several units on scene including three officers who arrived on scene before the fire department arrived and evacuated approximately 30 people from the two buildings. Metro then called for a CAT bus to respond to the scene so the evacuees could stay somewhere out of the cold while firefighters put the fire out. In the process, all three officers took in some smoke and were checked out by paramedics on scene. One officer was taken to UMC to be checked out as a precaution. One security officer had singed hair; he refused to be taken to the hospital.
Fire investigators have ruled the fire accidental, but could not determine an exact source of ignition. A man and a woman were asleep in the apartment where the fire originated. They woke to the smell of smoke and found the sofa in the living room on fire. They got a fire extinguisher and tried to put the fire out, but the sofa continued to burn. They then left the apartment. Fire investigators could not rule out the possibility of careless smoking, both occupants were smokers.
The fire gutted two apartments, caused fire and smoke damage to another apartment and two units had smoke damage. Damage was estimated at $300,000. The American Red Cross is attempting to determine the exact number of people who will be displaced because of the fire.