Family picking up pieces after downtown Las Vegas fire torches townhome

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:24 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Tuesday night Juan ‘Jr.’ Mena and his Daughter Kaylee peered through the chain link fence towards their townhome where they lived for two years. The raging fire early Sunday morning jumped to their townhouse on the end of the block.

“I look out and it was just raining fireballs, and all the soot kept hitting and making this pinging sounds,” Mena said.

“It just didn’t feel real at all and seeing every one running around and screaming,” Kaylee recalled.

The inside of their townhome is now covered in ash. Nearly everything is either burned or water logged. However, Mena made it clear he didn’t lose what’s most important.

“I got my daughter,” he said hugging Kaylee.

“It probably took us four hours to get the fire under control,” Las Vegas Fire and Rescue public information officer Tim Szymanski said.

Szymanski said the heat from fire and the strong winds made the blaze spread rapidly.

The fire burned about 10 buildings all starting from the units that were under construction. The fire department said the owners were waiting on a permit to build higher, so that’s why they were sitting vacant for about eight months.

On Tuesday, investigators wrapped up their onsite investigation. Szymanski said that night there were reported fireworks in the area, and also noted that there are often fires started from homeless people downtown.

“There’s a number of things it could have been, but we can’t put our finger on it,” Szymanski said.

However, arson is not suspected.

The Mena’s have renters insurance so they feel like they’ll be able to recover fine, and somehow are finding the bright spot from the night residents in the gated community described as an apocalypse.

“Where there’s an ending there’s a new beginning, and that’s what I just keep telling myself,” Mena said.

There’s a fundraiser to help support the Mena family.