Car fire in southwest valley home causes severe damage to garage


LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Fire investigators said they believe a downtown Las Vegas apartment fire was started intentionally early Saturday morning.

"I was in my bedroom [when it started]," David Thayer said. "It looked like there was fog rolling in."

Thayer, a veteran who served during the Vietnam era, was displaced by the fire. He and his two roommates temporarily live at another property in the downtown area owned by their landlord.

According to Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, firefighters were called to the 300 block of North 13th Street at around 3:22 a.m. When they arrived, firefighters noticed flames and smoke were coming from one of the first-floor apartments.

Firefighters had the fire under control in less than 15 minutes, LVFR said. Most of the damage was contained inside the apartment that had caught on fire, but the apartment next door sustained smoke damage.

The three occupants who lived in the smoke-damaged apartment were displaced, according to LVFR.

Members of the American Red Cross are assisting them. No injuries were reported.

A maintenance man who works for the apartment complex told fire investigators he was getting the apartment ready to rent out Friday when he found someone had cut a hole into the side of the apartment, LVFR said.

As he fixed the hole, a homeless person confronted the maintenance man about the repairs and made threats.

"I asked him politely to leave because its private property and he threatened to burn the property down," Primaris Construction General Manager Marty Jaronczyk said.

Jaronczyk said the suspect was with a group of about six homeless people. The rest of the group was cooperative.

According to LVFR, the maintenance man called police, but the homeless person left before officers arrived. 

Witness told fire investigators they saw the homeless person return some time after 3 a.m. and throw something inside the apartment through the window before running off, LVFR said. Shortly afterwards, the apartment caught on fire.

The residents who lived in the apartment that caught on fire were in the process of moving out, LVFR said. No one was inside the apartment when the fire started.

Damage estimate costs were not available, but were severe.

Firefighters from Clark County and North Las Vegas also assisted, but most of the downtown Las Vegas fire units were responding to another fire several block away.

The incident is being investigated by arson investigators with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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