Apartment fire remains under investigation - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Apartment fire remains under investigation

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An apartment building was left in ruins after a fire ripped through it. (Les Krifaton/FOX5) An apartment building was left in ruins after a fire ripped through it. (Les Krifaton/FOX5)

There is still no word on what caused an apartment building fire this past weekend that left more than 70 people homeless.

The fire broke out shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday at the Encantata Apartments, located at North 28th Street and Elm Avenue.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they quickly called for more units.

"This type of fire, a three-alarm fire, brought out about 100 firefighters and 50 pieces of equipment," said Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski. "These size fires happen only once or twice a year."

Firefighters were not only battling the blaze, they were also going from apartment to apartment looking for people who could have been trapped. Szymanski said there was a lot of smoke when the first crews arrived.

Preliminary reports suggest the fire spread into what's called a utility chase, where the building's pipes and electrical wiring is housed. It then moved into the attic.

"Up in the attic, that's an open area with a lot of lumber. Once it gets up there, it takes a long time to catch up," said Szymanski.

The Red Cross has so far spent $11,000 assisting the 70 or so people displaced by the fire.

"It's hard to imagine what it's like to lose everything, but that's what the Red Cross is here for, to help these people get back on their feet," said Red Cross spokeswoman Brooke Flake.

Meanwhile, there is still no word on when the residents can go back to their apartments to see what, if anything, is salvageable.

"There is some potential for structural damage, so we want to make sure that it is examined and taken care of and figured out first," said property manager Bret Holmes.

The damage estimate to the building is now at $350,000.

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