Former tenants of the Alpine Motel Apartments, the site of the deadliest residential fire in Las Vegas history, can start retrieving personal items within the next month, according to a plan approved in court Thursday.
The owner of the property, Adolfo Orozco, agreed to pay roughly $9,000 to clean salvageable property that had been contaminated by asbestos, but the earliest crews could enter the building for the cleaning is June 8, his lawyer, Steven Jaffe said.
Thursday’s development during a videoconference hearing prompted District Judge Rob Bare, sitting in a nearly empty courtroom, to recall a February proceeding when several former residents, some in tears, learned how long the process could take.
“I think we’re now set up for success,” Bare said. “I’ve been interested in that from the beginning, when I had a courtroom packed with people. The expressions on those faces were pretty heartfelt by me. I think we’re finally getting to where we can get this done.”
Meanwhile, Robert Eglet, a lawyer for more than 40 of the displaced residents, has drawn up a form for them to fill out in an effort to expedite the return of personal property, such as cash, medication, photographs and documents. Once the items are cleaned, crews are expected to take the belongings to a storage facility for collection.
Eglet and Jaffe also told the judge that they would work together to have crews retrieve items inside the building that were not contaminated by asbestos.
Once the items are placed in storage, former residents will be given 90 days to collect their property.
This week, Eglet’s firm, Eglet Adams, sued the property owner and companies that installed smoke and fire alarm systems.
Las Vegas fire officials have said that the fire likely originated from a stove in a first-floor unit. Survivors told the Review-Journal that the smoke detectors in their rooms did not activate during the deadly blaze and that the building’s rear exit door was bolted shut.
More than 40 fire code violations were discovered during an inspection of the property after the fire, including a defective fire alarm system as well as missing and inoperable smoke detectors.
Alpine Motel, 213 N. Ninth St., has been owned by Orozco under the business name Las Vegas Dragon Hotel LLC since 2013.