A central valley apartment fire left almost 50 people homeless Thursday night and injured four, including one woman with severe burns to her right arm.
Clark County and Las Vegas firefighters battled the blaze at Sonoma Shadows apartments, 1750 Karen Ave., near Maryland Parkway and Sahara Avenue.
Clark County Fire Department investigators say preliminary investigations indicate fireworks might have played a role in starting the fire.
Girard Page, a senior deputy fire chief with the county Fire Department, said it took 68 firefighters about two hours to put out the flames, which destroyed two apartment buildings. Firefighters were called to the complex at 6:46 p.m.
He said three residents suffered nonlife-threatening injuries. One firefighter, a battalion chief, suffered a minor injury. The blaze spread quickly through attic space in the two-story buildings, Page said.
At 8:30 p.m., firefighters still were dousing hot spots from a ladder high above one of the buildings. Dozens of residents forced out by the fire lined the front of the complex and nearby streets.
Investigators did not think anyone remained trapped inside the buildings, Page said.
"That's a good thing," he said.
Investigators estimated the damage at $1.5 million.
Osman Rodriguez, a resident, said he called 911 from his mother-in-law's apartment after smelling heavy smoke and looking outside to see one apartment engulfed in flames.
"It was huge. There were flames everywhere," Rodriguez said, estimating the flames to have been 30 feet high.
Brenda Jones sat on the corner of Bruce Street and Karen on Thursday night awaiting word on when she would be allowed back into her apartment.
Jones learned of the fire after a man frantically knocked on her door. She said when she answered, there was a law enforcement official telling people to leave the building.
Jones said she was lucky to escape with her two prized possessions, Madisha, a Lhasa-poo, and Prince, a Labrador retriever. Her dogs panted in the night heat while sitting by her side.
Jones worried her apartment might have burned down. She was also worried about her neighbors' safety and their possessions.
"It's not a good feeling," Jones said. "I don't know what's going on."
Jones and Rodriguez heard that cars also had been damaged. But Page said he did not know whether that was the case.
In total, 22 apartments were destroyed, leaving 46 people homeless. Two women and one man who lived at the complex were injured. One woman suffered burns to her arm. The injured man was burned along his back.
Page said arson investigators were on the scene late Thursday, which is protocol.
Firefighters were expected to stay late into the night making sure the complex was safe for residents.
"We'll be here for a while," Page said.
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638.