Media Release

 

Thursday, March 13, 2014
For Immediate Release
Fire & Rescue

Contact: Tim Szymanski
Telephone: 303-2993

 

Fatal House Fire Ruled Accidental
Investigators Believe Fire Started Due to Careless Smoking

 

Investigators believe the fire that took the life of a man in a West Las Vegas home was caused by the home owner.  They have ruled the fire accidental, they believe it started on a bed due to careless smoking.

The fire gutted the house and caused $80,000 damage.  The indentify of the victim will be released by the Clark County Coroner’s Office.  This is the first fatal fire in the city this year.  Careless smoking is the leading reason for fatal fires in the city of Las Vegas for the past 18 years.

Fire dispatchers received several calls at 10:54 p.m. that a house at 1204 W. Washington Ave. (at the intersection of J St/W Washington) was on fire.

Metro Police first arrived on the scene.  They found a woman at the front door of the one-story, wood frame house, but she could not get out because the door made of bars was locked.  Several other police officers arrived on scene and they all worked attempting to get the door open as the woman screamed to get her out.  They used a set of bolt cutters and were able to cut the door in half and pull the woman out.  She was immediately transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.  The woman also told police officers that a man was still in the house and he could not get out.

Firefighters arrived on scene and found the small house heavily involved with fire and smoke.  As they went around the house, they found the man in one of the rooms, but again he could not get out because all the windows had bars on them.  Firefighters had him go to a room where there was no fire and used a fire hose from outside to keep flames from entering the room while trying to cut the bars off the window. They were talking to the man and told him to stay put until they got the bars off.  But a minute later the man left the room and firefighters lost sight of him.  By the time they were able to enter the home they found the man and he was already deceased.

Nearly a dozen police officers were checked out by firefighter/paramedics for smoke inhalation.  At least one was transported to the hospital to be checked out.  Most were treated on scene and released.

The fire was investigated by Fire Investigators of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, Metro Police Homicide Unit and the Clark County Coroner’s Office, which is standard procedure anytime there is a fatal fire.

The house was completely gutted.  Damage was estimated at $80,000.

This is the first fire fatality in the city of Las Vegas for the year.  Last year there were seven fatal fires in the city of Las Vegas.

END ## LVFR/PEIO-TRS

E3,201,1,106, T3,1, R1,3,201,301,106, CB8, EMS1, AR1, B1,5, PIO1, 6i2, 6i6, 6i9, 116, 108
Incident: 4068162

-end

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