Four children, ages 7 to 2 years, and their mother escaped their burning Las Vegas home early Tuesday evening. The family of six is displaced because of the fire and being assisted by the American Red Cross. There were no reported injuries because of the fire.
Fire dispatchers received several 9-1-1 calls at 6:52 p.m. that a house was on fire at 4620 Spider Court (Decatur/Lake Mead). Initial reports indicated that children were in the home at the time of the fire.
When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was coming out the vents and eaves of the attic of the one-story wood frame/stucco house. Firefighters found the main portion of the fire was in the attic of the house and was able to bring it under control in approximately five minutes.
Damage was heavy to the attic and on a portion of the outside of the house where the fire originated. Fire investigators estimated damage at $125,000.
The woman told fire investigators that she was not aware that the house was on fire until smoke started to enter the inside of the house and people screamed for them to get out. She and the children escaped without incident.
Fire investigators determined the fire started on a couch that was outside against the rear wall of the house. The couch burned up the side of the home undetected and spread into the attic where again it burned undetected for a while. Fire investigators could not rule out the fire was smoking related, originating in the sofa.
Careless smoking is one the leading causes of fires in Las Vegas and the leading cause of fatal fires. Most people smoke outside buildings, but in many cases they smoke too close to the building. You should be no closer than 20 feet. Discarded smoking material should be placed in a bucket of water and allowed to soak for at least an hour before discarding in the rubbish. During windy days discarded smoking material can be blown out of ashtrays that are placed close to buildings and start the buildings on fire. This occurred in two very serious apartment complex fires last year in Las Vegas. Soaking discarded smoking materials ensures no embers are available to start a fire.