Vegas Deadly Apartment Fire

Soot darkens the backdoor of a three-story apartment complex Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 in Las Vegas. The fire was in first-floor unit of the Alpine Motel Apartments and its cause was under investigation, the department said. Authorities say multiple fatalities were reported and many more were injured. (AP Photo/David Becker)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- It could be weeks or months before any survivors of the Alpine Motel Apartment fire get their belongings back. 

Dozens of people were trapped in the building when the fire broke out on Dec. 21. Many of those people jumped out of windows to escape and left everything behind. 

Survivors said they have nothing and they're frustrated they're going to have nothing for a little longer following a judge's ruling on Tuesday. 

"I thought today was going to be the day where we could come and we would know when we could get our stuff," said Timothy Henry. 

Henry said he has a lot of valuables just sitting inside the Alpine. 

"My money, I care about my TV, my stereo, my backpack, my expensive headphones. I can't get none of my clothes," said Henry. 

Audrey Palmer also has valuables she wants back. 

"My money, my grand kid's Christmas presents," she said. 

There are two reasons former tenants haven't been able to get their belongings back: the criminal investigation and asbestos inside the walls of the Alpine building. 

Judge Rob Bare said he needs confirmation that Metro Police detectives and the Las Vegas Fire Department have finished collecting evidence from the building. Bare also said all evidence on the property needs to be preserved and the asbestos must be removed. 

"Frankly, all parties involved in this situation have an interest in preserving the evidence," said Judge Bare.

He continued, "That will ultimately tell the story as to what really happened on that fateful day on December 21, 2019." 

"We have to get our experts in there to inspect the property, do what they need to do to preserve that evidence before the asbestos remediation takes place," said attorney Robert Eglet.

Eglet is representing at least 38 of the victims. He said he is working with other prosecutors to get a third-party inspector inside the building within the next two years. 

"Maybe two, three days at the most of inspecting the property, photographing, documenting everything," said Eglet. 

"Lets get the property back to these people," said attorney Steven Jaffe, representing the owner of the Alpine, Adolfo Orozco. "Right now we see the return of the property as actually primary to my client repairing the building."

It wasn't a contentious day in court for attorneys. 

But Palmer, Henry and other survivors said they left court without answers and without a chance to speak up in the courtroom. 

"I was disappointed with the fact that I thought we were going to be able to come here and really talk and really voice what we're going through," said Henry. 

Eglet said best case scenario, survivors get their belongings back within the next month. 

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(1) comment


I am waiting to pick up my Ferrari, 11 Rolex's, and 3 mink coats.

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