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1 killed in fire at central Las Vegas apartment complex

Updated March 9, 2021 - 11:12 pm

One person died after a fire Tuesday morning at a central Las Vegas apartment complex that officials believe was caused by the improper discarding of smoking materials.

The Clark County Fire Department also reported four injuries in the blaze. The condition of those hurt was unknown as of Tuesday afternoon, but Deputy Fire Chief Warren Whitney said three were hospitalized.

The fire was reported just after 10:51 a.m. at the Twain Estates Apartments at 3651 Arville St. Whitney said it started in a first-floor unit and extended to the second floor.

About 30 fire personnel responded to the scene, including crews with eight engines and three rescue units, Assistant Fire Chief Larry Haydu said.

Resident Billie Bentley told the Review-Journal she was walking her dog in the complex when she heard a commotion near Building 41.

“I just thought it was a fire drill, because they do that a lot here,” said Bentley, who went back home.

Moments later, a neighbor knocked on her door, alerting her to the blaze..

“It scared me terribly,” she said.

Shortly after noon, she and a handful of neighbors stood by, looking at the burned-out structure that remained. Firefighters were still dousing hot spots.

Resident Lawrence Duna said he emerged from his apartment to see flames and smoke rising into the sky, describing the fire as “tremendous.”

“I just talked to a fella, and he got his kids out of the apartment of a smoking building,” Duna said, “and I’m so glad he made it.”

Resident Vivian Pang drove into the complex sometime around 11:30 a.m. and saw firefighters spraying down the scorched building, which was near her apartment. She panicked and worried about her cat, but there was no damage to her residence and her pet was fine.

“Shocked,” Pang said. “It’s something you don’t really think about actually happening.”

The fire remains under investigation. An initial damage estimate ranged between $500,000 and $1 million dollars, Whitney said Tuesday evening.

The Clark County coroner’s office will name the person who died once relatives have been notified.

The Fire Department last responded to the Twain Estates apartment complex on Feb. 18, Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa said. The call came from a different apartment than Tuesday’s blaze and involved a stove fire, stemming from a pot, which did not spread.

Before that, the department had not been called to the complex for a fire in at least three years, Pappa said.

Contact Glenn Puit at gpuit@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0390. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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