Las Vegas fire investigators have ruled a fire in an apartment on Ninth Street Wednesday night as accidental. Fire investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen and then quickly spread to an adjacent bedroom where a visitor was staying and was overcome by the smoke and poison gases of the fire. This is the third fire fatality in the city of Las Vegas this year.
At 11:05 Wednesday evening fire dispatchers received several calls that a house was on fire near the intersection of East Bonanza Road and North Maryland Parkway.
Las Vegas firefighters arrived on scene a few minutes later at 632 N. Ninth St. and found heavy flames coming from the second story of a two-story concrete block building. The building was divided into an upstairs and downstairs apartment. Because of the intensity of the flames, three nearby houses were evacuated.
Firefighters entered the upstairs apartment and were able to bring the fire under control in five minutes. As they were putting the fire out, they discovered an adult person lying on the floor of the bedroom next to the bed.
Damage was confined to the bedroom where the victim was found, it was gutted and to the kitchen of the apartment. The downstairs unit had minor water damage. Damage was estimated at $75,000.
Fire investigators believe the fire started in the refrigerator in the kitchen and then spread. Although it is not common, refrigerators do catch fire from time to time and can cause an intense fire.
An autopsy of the victim showed the victim died of products produced by fire, mainly smoke and carbon monoxide. It was not determined if there was a smoke alarm in the apartment. A smoke alarm is capable of giving occupants notification to evacuate promptly when a fire occurs inside a building.
Las Vegas Fire & Rescue fire investigators, Metro Police Homicide Unit and the Clark County Coroner’s office all participated in the investigation. All three agencies were on scene throughout the night investigating the incident.
The identity of the deceased victim will be released by the Coroner’s office.
There were no reported injuries. Two adults and two children who live in the building are displaced. No other buildings in the area were damaged.
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