While on routine patrol on the eastside of the city this afternoon, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer noticed a man sitting on the curb on 15th Street that matched the description of a man that Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Arson Investigators wanted to talk to about the fire at the Cedar Village Apartments this morning.
The man was held until arson investigators arrived on scene and after talking to the man, investigators arrested Richard Arlen Jones, 53. He was transported to the Clark County Detention Center and charged with one count of First Degree Arson. He is being held on $20,000 bond.
Jones and his wife got into a domestic dispute which was heard by neighbors. His wife alleges that he set some furniture that was stacked outside the front door on fire. The fire quickly grew and involved four apartments. Using 12 fire extinguishers, neighbors tried to put the fire out, but it was too intense.
Fire dispatchers received numerous calls at 9:47 a.m. that the apartment building at 2850 Cedar Ave. (Eastern/I-515) was on fire. When firefighters arrived, heavy flames were showing on the outside of the two-story wood frame/stucco apartment building. All 24 units of the building were evacuated. The main portion of the fire was in front of four apartments that were situated in the center of the building.
It took firefighters less than five minutes to knock most of the fire down. The fire was on the outside of the building on the patio/balcony of each unit. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from entering any of the apartments. The balcony/patio area of all four apartments was destroyed. The outside of the building had damage; the inside of the apartments had light to heavy smoke damage. Damage was estimated at $100,000.
Two units were occupied with one person each, the other two were vacant. Two people are displaced and being assisted by the American Red Cross.
A small girl was burned on the forearm as an ember fell on it as she waiting in the parking lot after being evacuated. She was taken to the hospital to be checked out at the request of her mother. Another woman was treated for first degree burns (sunburn) on the arms from when she was leaving her apartment across the sidewalk in the next building. Flames were so intense that the heat caused her arms to burn. She was treated on scene and released.
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