After losing everything in a fire, Las Vegas couple wants answers on smoke detectors

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 7:51 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - In the aftermath of a devastating apartment fire in the west Las Vegas Valley that left one person dead and another still unaccounted for at the Tides on Charleston Apartments, others who lived in the building are still picking up the pieces.

One couple who lost everything says they may have been able to save more than just one phone and the clothes they were wearing if their apartment’s safety equipment worked.

“The fire was getting bigger,” Angelo Elias said. “The only thing I could think of was to tell (my girlfriend), ‘You need to jump. You need to jump out the window.’”

Elias feels lucky to be alive, but is much worse for the wear after jumping out of his unit’s second story window as the fire engulfed his home.

“I land on my face,” he recounted. “The first thing I do is get up and start bawling because I can’t find my ferret. And then after that, I just kind of look at my hand and it’s just gushing blood everywhere.”

Elias said he broke his arm as a result of the fall, and spent a day unconscious in the hospital after losing a substantial amount of blood.

He and his girlfriend, Kyla Kamai, say their alarm system was not working during the fire.

“The smoke detectors didn’t go on,” Kamai said. “Nothing was alarming us that it was on fire. If it wasn’t for that electric smell, we wouldn’t have gotten out alive.”

Kamai says that because the couple had little time to react, she and Elias had no way to go out the door and down the stairs.

“My pet died,” Kamai said, crying. “We couldn’t find her in time to save her. Everything’s gone.”

The couple is now figuring out how to put their lives back together, but in the meantime, are looking for answers about the alarms they say never went off.

“If they were working fine, we probably would’ve been able to walk down those stairs in time and none of us would be injured the way that we were,” Kamai said.

Elias and Kamai are not the only residents of Tides on Charleston to tell FOX5 their smoke detectors were not working. They say the alarms were checked earlier this year.

FOX5 reached out to the property management company for Tides on Charleston but has not heard back.

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue says it will come to the complex within the next 30 day to check smoke alarms and provide education on fire safety.

If you want to help Elias and Kamai start over, you can find their GoFundMe page here.