Updated June 5, 2020 - 2:31 pm
Four Las Vegas police officers suffered smoke inhalation early Friday as they went door-to-door at a smoldering downtown Las Vegas apartment complex, alerting residents to a third-floor fire.
Dozens were evacuated from the Siegel Suites at 700 Las Vegas Blvd. North during the 10:42 a.m. fire. They stood on the sidewalk near Bonanza Road, in the heat, watching firefighters investigate.
“Someone just wake me, bang on my door! ‘The place is on fire!’” said 73-year-old Susana Miller. “Somebody helped me to get out.”
Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said the fire was contained to one unit. The injured officers treated at University Medical Center smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.
“They got here immediately at the beginning of the fire,” Szymanski said. “It was in the process of going around, evacuating the apartments — there was a lot of smoke.”
Szymanski said only one fire truck was initially able to respond because firefighters were tied up at a separate residential fire on Leonard Avenue in central Las Vegas. That unrelated blaze injured three.
Szymanski said the Siegel Suites complex may have roof damage, but that the structure was intact. He estimated the total cost of the damage to be $50,000. Investigators believe the fire started around the stove in the kitchen.
Authorities were cautiously optimistic Friday morning that most occupants would be able to return to their apartments.
Resident Ashah Whalum said she heard what sounded like a domestic dispute on the third floor of the apartment building shortly before the fire broke out.
“I heard screaming like someone was really hurt,” she said. “The next thing I know cops came. I came out the door. There was smoke, and they told everyone they had to evacuate.”
Szymanski said fire department investigators were continuing to investigate Friday afternoon and that the American Red Cross was on scene to assist residents, all of whom escaped injury.