Las Vegas firefighters responded to the City Center apartments, 811 Bridger Ave. at 5:19 Friday morning after someone reported fire alarms were sounding and smoke was filling a second floor corridor
When firefighters arrived on scene, heavy smoke was found on the second floor. The apartment building is a four-story building with 300 apartments. Because of the size of the building and the thick smoke, a second alarm was dispatched to the scene to assist occupants with evacuation.
While the building was being evacuated, firefighters entered the apartment and found a small fire in a large pot on the stove. The fire had already been knocked down by a security agent of the apartment building using two fire extinguishers. He told fire investigators that he forced entry into the apartment and could see the pot burning. He then retrieved two fire extinguishers from the hallway and used them on the fire.
After firefighters entered the apartment, they found a middle-aged man lying on a bed unconscious. He was taken out by firefighters and immediately transported to University Medical Center. It appeared he was suffering from smoke inhalation from the thick smoke inside the apartment.
Damage was confined to the pot itself and smoke odor to the apartment. Damage was estimated at $500. No other apartments in the building were damaged by the fire.
Fire investigators ruled the fire accidental, starting on the stove in the pot. Evidence indicated that the occupant was in the process of cooking clam chowder in the pot. He was found in bed while the food was cooking. Fire investigators also found evidence that the man might have suffered a medical emergency and became unconscious while cooking. Fire investigators will need to talk to the man to find out what happened. He is currently being treated at UMC.
The apartment has automatic fire sprinklers, but there was not enough heat generated by the fire in the pan to activate them. The burning food in the pot did generate a large amount of smoke which set off a smoke alarm in the apartment, which notified people in the building to evacuate. Most people that die in a fire do so because of smoke inhalation. In this case, the small fire produced enough smoke to cause a life threatening injury.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of fires and fire-related injuries in Las Vegas and the rest of the country. Unattended cooking is the leading reason for most cooking fires.
Occupants were permitted to return to their apartments once smoke was evacuated from the building which took about 45 minutes.
END ## LVFR/PEIO-TRS
1st Alarm: E4,1,201,10, T1, R204, CB8, EMS1, AR1, B1,5, PIO1, 6i4, 6i9, 6i12
2nd Alarm: E8,3,106, T3, R4, 201, B2