Las Vegas fire official’s home burns

Tim Szymanski isn’t just the public information officer for the Las Vegas Fire Department – he is the education officer, too.

But the longtime firefighter learned more than he wanted about the personal impact of a fire Friday morning after his own Summerlin home went up in flames.

Szymanski, his family and his pets are OK, he said. The blaze started in the bathroom of his upstairs bedroom about 7:30 a.m. after an exhaust fan caught fire, causing $50,000 in damage. No one was home at the time.

He said the fire was electrical and ruled accidental.

Szymanski said he was driving when he received a phone call from a 911 dispatcher who told him his house at 1605 Desert Canyon Court had caught fire.

“I don’t normally answer my cell when I am driving, but I figured it was important,” he said. “I said, ‘You must have made a mistake.’ ”

He flipped on the emergency radio in his personal vehicle and heard a firefighter say, “It’s the PIO’s house.”

Szymanski, who doesn’t smoke or use candles in his home, said he knew the fire would be electrical. He said his Las Vegas firefighter colleagues were fantastic.

The house will be unlivable for three months. He is working out the details on where he will stay in the meantime.

Szymanski said his home office received a lot of damage, but that won’t stop him from doing his job.

“I’ll put out a release on this sometime later,” he said.

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