One man was taken to the hospital and three others were taken out of a vacant downtown building early Friday morning after a fire in a room on the third floor. The cause of the fire is accidental.
Firefighters were dispatched to the area of Fremont Street and South 14th Street at 1:04 Friday morning for a report of smoke in the area. The first place firefighters went to check was the vacant Fremont Assisted Living Center at 100 S. 14th St. When firefighters arrived in the alley behind the three-story building, black smoke was coming out a window on the third floor. There was also a man hanging outside the window by his hands. Firefighters quickly dismounted from the fire engine and took a ladder to put up to the man, but he let go just before they got there. He was taken to the hospital for minor superficial burns and a possible fracture from the fall.
As firefighters ascended through the building to the third floor, they also found three other people in the building and escorted them out. They were checked out by paramedics on scene and released. They all refused any treatment; they did not appear to be injured.
Firefighters had the fire out in a few minutes. A mattress and bedding material were the items that burned in the room. There was minor damage to the one room. Damage was estimated at $5,000.
The man that fell from the window told fire investigators at the hospital that he was sleeping in the room and woke to the bedding material on fire. He threw a mattress down hoping to fall on it when he jumped from the window. He missed the mattress. He told fire investigators that he had candles in the room. Fire investigators also found a can of sterno, which is used for cooking while camping, in the burned out remains of the room. Investigators believe the fire was accidental in nature.
This is the third fire in the building since September. The first fire in September was a fire in a room on the third floor and was ruled arson. The second fire was just a few weeks ago and was minor in nature, a mattress fire on the third floor. Each time there has been a fire, the building was boarded up to keep people out, but it appears people reenter the building each time.
Firefighters also found where someone had stretched a wire from a room on the third floor to a power pole in the alley. Someone must have climbed up the pole and appeared to be stealing power from the pole. NV Energy was dispatched to investigate and take care of the situation.
There were no injuries to first responders during the incident.
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E4,1,201,10, T1, R204,4,1,201, EMS1, CB8, AR1, B1,5, PIO1, 6i3, 6i5, 6i6
Video Available at: http://youtu.be/qvCfP-4l6Dc
Video credit: Las Vegas Fire & Rescue