Las Vegas Fire Injures Four, Damages Six Homes

A fire that apparently spread from an electrical transformer on a utility pole caused four minor injuries and an estimated $500,000 damage to six Las Vegas homes Sunday, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue officials said.

The fire broke out about 4:50 p.m. in the 1200 block of Virgil Street, near Washington Avenue and Pecos Road, after residents reported hearing an explosion, officials said.

Four people suffered minor injuries; one had breathing problems and three reported chest pains, fire official said. One person was taken to a hospital for further examination, and the others declined further medical treatment, officials said.

Justin Heki, who lives nearby, said he was home watching television when he heard a bang, smelled smoke and noticed the lights flicker. He looked outside and saw neighboring houses and trees on fire.

"I ran out here to see what I could do to help," said Heki, who grabbed a garden hose and tried to douse the flames.

Firefighters from Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Clark County responded to the two-alarm blaze.

When firefighters arrived, they found the bulk of the fire behind a one-story, wood frame house at 1213 Virgil St., Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said. The back of the house and yard were on fire.

Winds were fanning the flames and spreading the fire to neighboring homes on Virgil Street and Newport Street, the next street over, Szymanski said.

Damage to the homes ranged from minor to very heavy, officials said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Several people in the area said they heard a loud pop prior to the fire and saw the area around the utility pole on fire, Szymanski said. The fire spread to four large trees and then to the homes, he said.

Neighbors said there was a large accumulation of pine needles in the yards and on the roofs of some of the homes, he said.

Some people reported a brief power outage after they heard the pop, Szymanski said.

Copyright 2012 - Las Vegas Sun

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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