Three houses under construction caught fire Sunday evening in North Las Vegas, causing a pillar of smoke to be seen across the valley.
Multiple people called in reports of the fires about 5:30 p.m. on the 3300 block of Nicki Cometa Street, in a gated neighborhood near Valley Drive and Cheyenne Avenue, North Las Vegas Fire Department Chief Joseph Calhoun said.
Two homes were fully engulfed when crews arrived and a third had heavy flames starting to show, Calhoun said. Firefighters immediately called in a second alarm, which prompted additional resources to the scene.
The burning houses lacked the protection and insulation that a completed building would have, providing the fire easy access to air, he said.
“That’s why with both of those homes burning it caused a very big plume of smoke that was visible throughout most of the valley,” Calhoun said.
Two of the three unoccupied homes were completely destroyed, while more than half of the third house was destroyed, he said. It took about 45 minutes for crews to get the fires under control. They were still dousing hot spots Sunday night.
The Fire Department had a general sense of which house was the first one to catch fire, but it wasn’t yet clear what caused it to ignite, Calhoun said. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters had received a few reports from bystanders of a low-flying helicopter that may have crashed into the houses, but scours of the scene turned up no evidence of a crash, Calhoun said. Firefighters checked in with nearby North Las Vegas Airport — about a block away from the neighborhood — and learned there were no missing choppers.
“We’re confident that there were no aircraft involved in the starting of this fire,” Calhoun said.
Crews from the Las Vegas Fire Department assisted the North Las Vegas efforts.
View from Bucking Bronco/Valley pic.twitter.com/7Xg0GhPkfU
— Mike Shoro (@mike_shoro) October 22, 2018