Â A middle-aged man became the city’s first fire fatality of the year after the motor home he was living in caught fire Tuesday morning.Â The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental by Las Vegas fire investigators. Twelve people have been displaced because of the incident and are receiving aid from the American Red Cross.
Firefighters were sent to the area ofÂ S. 17th St. and East Charleston Boulevard at 8:16 a.m. to investigate a report of smoke in the area. Before Fire Engine Four left the station, fire dispatchers started to receive numerous calls that a motor home was on fire near the rear of a house on 17th St .Â A full first alarm assignment was dispatched to the call.
Firefighters arrived a minute later at 415 S. 17th St. and found an older motor home (recreational type vehicle) fully involved with flames and smoke coming outÂ ofÂ the windows.Â The main door to the vehicle was blocked by a tree and material inside the motor home, so firefighters used saws to cut into the motor home through the rear.Â Once inside the vehicle they were able to completely put out the fire and found the body of a middle-aged male lying on the floor near a window.
The fire was confined to the motor home, destroying it.Â Damage was estimated at $5,000.Â None of the nearby buildings were damaged by the fire.
Since the fire involved a fatality, investigators from Metro Police Homicide and the Clark County Coroner’s office assisted fire investigators with the investigation, which is standard procedure after
any fatal fire.
Fire investigators believe the fire was accidental, electrical in origin.Â The man was living in the motor home and was receiving electricity though an extension cord from the main house, which went
into a power strip that supplied power to several electrical items in the motor home.Â Investigators determined the fire started in the area of the power strip.
Another building on the property, which was subdivided into several rooms,Â was vacated by Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Fire Prevention Division andÂ theÂ city of Las Vegas Neighborhood Services Code Enforcement Division because inspectors felt the condition was dangerous enough that
it threatened the lives of the five men who are staying in the building.Â As a result all utilities to the property were shut off.Â The small outbuilding was boarded up byÂ Las Vegas Fire & Rescue and signs were posted that the building was dangerous.Â
Eight adults and four children were displaced because of the incident. The American Red Cross was on scene and making sure that everyone had a place to stay tonight.Â The Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Foundation also assisted all of the people involved.
The fire fatality is the first in the city this year.Â Last year eight people died in fires.
Story by Tim Szymanski / Submitted by The Caz – Las Vegas Fire and Rescue