Media Release

 

Thursday, July 24, 2014
For Immediate Release
Fire & Rescue

Contact: Tim Szymanski
Telephone: 303-2993

 

Fire Damages Northwest Las Vegas Home
Fire Ruled Accidental, Appears Electrical In Nature

 

A family of three is receiving assistance from the American Red Cross after their northwest Las Vegas home caught fire early Wednesday afternoon.  No one was home at the time of the fire.  Firefighters rescued one dog and cat, both were not injured.  There were no reported injuries during the incident.

A neighbor that lives several doors down from where the fire occurred came home for lunch late Wednesday.  When he was outside he smelled wood burning, which he thought was unusual so he started walking the neighborhood looking for the source.  About four houses up from his house he noticed smoke coming from the outside of a house at 9005 Ballad Ave. (Cheyenne/El Capitan).  He called 9-1-1 and reported the fire.

Fire dispatchers received the call at 3:44 p.m. and dispatched firefighters.  When firefighters arrived on scene they found the fire on the outside of a two-story, wood frame/stucco house.  When they forced entry into the home, they found the house full of thick smoke and high heat.  As they were searching the house for the source of the smoke, they rescued a pet dog and cat. 

Firefighters discovered the fire was burning inside a wall of the kitchen and it had spread to a void area between the first and second floors.  Just as the fire was about to spread and get much worse, firefighters were able to put it out.  Damage was confined to  the wall inside the kitchen area and the outside wall of the house.  The void area between the floors also had fire damage.  Damage was estimated at $60,000.  None of the contents of the home were destroyed, at worse some items had a light smoke coating or odor to it.

Fire investigators determined the fire started inside the wall of the kitchen, which is also the outside wall of the house. They found the source around some wiring in the wall.  The occupants told investigators they were not having any problems with the electricity.  Investigators feel that the high heat may have also contributed to the conditions that started the fire.  The wall faces the sun and the high heat might have help start the fire.  The fire was ruled accidental.

The fire displaced two adults and a teen. 

Electrical fires are the second leading cause of fires in Las Vegas and cause more damage than all other types of fires combined.  It is not uncommon to have more electrical related fires during the summer months especially during very hot periods like today.  Electrical items usually build up heat, such as motors, and they depend on the surrounding air to dissipate the heat.  But when the surrounding air cannot take that heat away or contributes by adding more heat, the item many times overheats and catches fire such as air conditioner motors, refrigerators, freezers in garages, transformers, and many times wiring.  In many cases this can occur in a wall and smolder for several hours before it is noticed causing considerable damage, such as in the case of today’s fire.

E45,42,107,44, T9, R45, HR44, EMS1, AR53, B4,10, PIO1, 6i2, 6i10, 6i11
Incident: 4207636

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