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Arson suspected in early morning fire in downtown Las Vegas

Arson is suspected in a fire early Saturday at a duplex in downtown Las Vegas, according to the city’s Fire Department.

The Las Vegas Fire Department was requested shortly after 3:20 a.m. to the 300 block of North 13th Street, where a one-story wood-frame duplex had gone up in flames, the department said. Crews were able to contain the blaze within 15 minutes of the department’s arrival.

The apartment that caught fire had recently been vacated, the department said. No one was injured in the fire, but three people in a neighboring unit inside the duplex were displaced due to smoke damage.

A maintenance worker told fire investigators that he had been working on the unit Thursday, readying the property for new tenants, when he found a hole that had been cut into the side of the apartment. As he was patching the hole, he told investigators, a homeless person confronted him and “made threats,” according to the department.

The worker called police, but the homeless person left before officers arrived. But a witness to the fire recognized that same man, who the witness said had returned to the apartment just after 3 a.m. and threw an object through a window.

The apartment caught fire shortly thereafter, according to the department.

Firefighters from Clark County and North Las Vegas also responded to the fire, which remained under investigation Saturday, the department said.

Anyone with information may call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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