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Downtown Apartment Fire Displaces Twelve People

Cause Of Fire Is Unknown, And American Red Cross Is Helping Those Displaced

January 11, 2019 - 1:28 pm

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) - A bedroom fire damaged a downtown Las Vegas apartment early Friday morning. All of the occupants of the apartment building escaped without injury. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Fire dispatchers received a frantic call from one of the occupants of the apartment where the fire started at 5:12 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11. The caller stated that the bedroom in the apartment in the 300 block of N. Fourteenth Street, between Stewart and Bonanza, was on fire and they were attempting to escape. They also stated that one of the occupants would need assistance getting out because of a medical condition.

When firefighters arrived, smoke and flames were showing from a rear window of a one-story wood frame apartment building with three apartments. All of the occupants of the three apartments were in the process of escaping when firefighters arrived. All got out without any injuries.

Firefighters found the fire in the bedroom of the middle apartment. Prior to entering the apartment, a medical oxygen bottle in the bedroom exploded. Firefighters had the fire out in just a few minutes.

The fire gutted the bedroom and damaged the attic above. The rest of the apartment had smoke damage as well as the other two apartments in the building. Damage was estimated at $35,000.

The cause of the fire is undetermined. Fire investigators could not rule out the possibility of medical oxygen in use while smoking. One of the occupants uses medical oxygen. Just 45 minutes prior to the fire, medics responded to the apartment for a medical assistance call. While they were there, they reminded one of the occupants of the dangers of smoking while on medical oxygen. The fire occurred shortly after.

It is never safe to smoke while medical oxygen is in use or has been used. Even after use, medical oxygen can saturate clothing and skin and be retained for several hours. If a person uses smoking material, a flash fire can occur from the residual oxygen. Other combustible items such as sofas, bedding, curtains and the like can ignite during the flash fire causing a larger fire.