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Hydrant woes at fire cited

RENO — Firefighters say they couldn’t get water from the hydrants closest to a fire that destroyed more than 300 apartments in a luxury complex that was under construction.

Reno Fire Marshal Joan Presley said it appears some of the hydrants were not on, but the fire department was still getting details about what happened after the call came late Wednesday.

“The first-in firefighters reported some difficulties. We are pursuing that,” Presley said. Presley said the hydrants were eventually turned on to help fight the fire, which caused damage estimated at $30 million. No injuries were reported.

“We do not have all the information yet as to what exactly went on,” Presley said. “It does appear that some of the hydrants were not on.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting in the investigation of the fire, which is believed to have been intentionally set. Presley said accidental causes and sources of the fire have been ruled out.

The fire destroyed 22 of the 36 buildings in the complex. The 80-foot-tall flames burned so hot just after midnight that they melted the windshield of a fire truck, forced evacuation of a nearby mobile home park and closure of U.S. Highway 395 for several hours.

The complex is being built by a company owned by billionaire developer and San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos.

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