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Trash chute fire causes smelly scare at southeast valley apartment tower

A burning pile of garbage gave a southeast valley apartment tower a smelly scare Monday evening.

Clark County Fire Department crews were initially called to Vegas Towers Apartments — 1065 East Flamingo Road, just west of Maryland Parkway — after multiple callers reported billowing smoke on the ninth floor, Deputy Chief John Steinbeck said.

Out of precaution, the call prompted a heavy response — five engines, two ladder trucks, two rescues and two battalion chiefs, Steinbeck said. But when crews arrived, they were instead pointing to a fire in the building’s first-floor trash chute, which was “quickly extinguished.”

No one was injured or displaced, Steinbeck said. But crews didn’t take off once the fire was out.

The initial call reporting smoke on the ninth floor was true; the trash smoke — and the smell — had wafted up from the chute and throughout the building, permeating the elevator shafts and apartments on the first-through-ninth floors.

As crews worked to rid the building of smoke — and fumes — with a handful of electric fans, some residents sheltered in place and others opted to leave during the ordeal.

“Trash fires smell like you would imagine,” Steinbeck said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Steinbeck said the damage amount was “zero dollars” because “the fire was contained to a trash dumpster connected to the trash chute.”

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Find her on Twitter @rachelacrosby

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