Downtown Las Vegas house fire allegedly caused by squatters - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Downtown Las Vegas house fire allegedly caused by squatters

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LVFR crews battle a blaze on the 1200 block of South 9th Street April 1, 2018 (LVFR). LVFR crews battle a blaze on the 1200 block of South 9th Street April 1, 2018 (LVFR).
LVFR crews are on the scene of a fire allegedly caused by squatters (LVFR). LVFR crews are on the scene of a fire allegedly caused by squatters (LVFR).
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

An early Easter Sunday morning house fire was allegedly caused by squatters in Downtown Las Vegas, officials said. 

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue crews were dispatched to a home in the 1200 block of South 9th Street, near Las Vegas and Charleston Boulevards at 2:45 a.m. Firefighters immediately began attacking the heavy flames and smoke that were coming out of a large window on the the front of the one-story house, public information officer Tim Szymanksi said. 

Bystanders told firefighters that they believed two people were still inside the home. A crew searched for the possible victims, but no one was inside except for three cats that had perished in the fire, a release said.

Two occupants of the home told fire investigators that a candle was near the living room where the fire may have started although they did not remember if it was lit. They were treated for minor smoke inhalation and left the scene before firefighters finished battling the blaze. 

Szymanski said that it's possible the home was vacant for some time and was being used by squatters. Neighbors told fire officials that the home was in foreclosure and had been boarded up for over a year, a release said. They also had witnessed multiple people going in and out of the house at all hours of the day and night. 

Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

Residents can report squatters to the City of Las Vegas Code Enforcement hotline at 702-229-6615.

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