LVFR: No smoke alarms inside Vegas apartment during deadly fire - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

LVFR: No smoke alarms inside Vegas apartment during deadly fire

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Fire crews at the scene of a deadly apartment blaze on Lake Mead Boulevard Jan. 19, 2017. (Luis Marquez/FOX5) Fire crews at the scene of a deadly apartment blaze on Lake Mead Boulevard Jan. 19, 2017. (Luis Marquez/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The central Las Vegas Valley apartment where three people, including a mother, a father and a small girl, perished in a fire last month was not equipped with smoke alarms, firefighters disclosed Thursday.

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue said it still could not determine the exact cause of the Jan. 19 fire at 833 W. Lake Mead Blvd., near H Street. Investigators, though, believe the fire was accidental in nature and they could not rule out it being smoking-related. They said both adults smoked in the apartment.

The incident lead to the deaths of Diana Rose Bankston, 37; Andrew Ray, 39; and Kaysha Ray, 8. Bankston died at the scene while Andrew and his daughter Kaysha died at University Medical Center.

According to LVFR, Kaysha Ray and Andrew Ray were sleeping in a back bedroom, Bankston was sleeping on a sofa in the living room, and two teen girls were sleeping in another bedroom during the early morning of the fire.

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Fire investigators believe Kaysha Ray woke and walked out to a hallway when she was overcome with heavy smoke. In the meantime, the girl's father came to and tried finding his daughter amid the smoke. Firefighters believe the man then broke the window of the bedroom in an attempt to exit through a back courtyard and re-enter the home through the front passages.

Firefighters also said the two teens in the separate bedroom made their escape out of a window, with one of the girls sustaining a laceration due to broken glass.

The father went to the front of the apartment where the front door was equipped with a security bar and the regular door was locked, LVFR said. Andrew Ray then attempted to go through a broken front window but was severely burned when flames shot out.

Kaysha Ray died hours after the fire while her father died a week after the incident.

According to LVFR, the apartment complex was put on notice last May for violations including ensuring the use of a release latch for windows that were equipped with security bars; placing smoke alarms in all apartments; and making sure exit doors were not chained or locked. The complex was in compliance shortly after the notice.

Fire investigators also learned Andrew Ray's apartment at one time under went smoke damage due to a grease fire. Investigators learned he decided to repaint the inside of the unit, which investigators believe lead to the smoke alarms being removed. Fire investigators conceded Andrew Ray may have been too busy at work to re-install them. He was the maintenance person for the entire apartment complex.

The investigation is expected to wind down next week when private investigators take over.

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