Fires cause damage across the valley

LAS VEGAS - Three unrelated fires left more than 40 people temporarily homeless, one boy injured and a city landmark damaged.

A three-alarm fire at a 12-unit apartment complex near the Palace Station hotel and casino left 40 people temporarily homeless Monday.

A plumber working with a torch on water pipes in a vacant apartment on the second floor caused the fire, Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

The 1:45 p.m. fire quickly spread up an inside wall and into the attic. Three upstairs units were destroyed while the remaining nine were damaged by smoke.

Residents were taken to apartments across the street. The American Red Cross is working with the apartment complex management company to find homes for the displaced residents, Szymanski said.

The fire caused an estimated $175,000 in damage and was ruled accidental. No one was injured.

Three homes were damaged and a shed was destroyed early Tuesday morning when two teen-age boys playing with fireworks caught the grass in their backyard on fire, Szymanski reported.

One of the teens burned his hand trying to put the fire out. He was treated and released at the scene.

The American Red Cross helped three adults and an infant find temporary housing, Szymanski said. Investigators estimated damage from the westside fire at $80,000.

Another Monday afternoon fire is still under investigation, Szymanski said.

Damage to the interior and roof of Squeeky's Car Wash, a Las Vegas landmark for 35 years, is estimated at $25,000. There were no reported injuries.

The downtown building has been vacant since February for renovation.

A former car wash employee said there have been problems with keeping homeless people out of the building, Szymanski said.


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