Police: Apartment Fire Connected to Domestic Disp - 8 News NOW

Police: Apartment Fire Connected to Domestic Dispute

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Photo Courtesy: Tomas McKinnon Photo Courtesy: Tomas McKinnon
Salvador Hernandez is facing attempted murder and arson charges. Salvador Hernandez is facing attempted murder and arson charges.

LAS VEGAS-- A man is facing arson and attempted murder charges after a weekend fire at an apartment building that displaced dozens of residents.

Salvador Hernandez was arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center following the Sunday morning fire at the Sonoma Shadows Apartments.

According to the arrest report released by Metro Police, the fire started on Carolyn Wilkinson's apartment patio. Wilkinson had accused of Hernandez of abusing and harassing her. 

Wilkinson said she heard knocking on her door and window early Sunday morning. She also told police she heard Hernandez talking outside her apartment. A few minutes later she heard a crashing noise, and her 16-year-old son yelled fire. Wilkinson, her son and a friend, who was staying at the apartment, ran.

On their way to a nearby McDonald's restaurant, they stopped to talk to police, telling them about the suspect.

According to the arrest report, the officers who detained the suspect also reported that he told them, "If someone dies in the fire, God help me." He then paused and continued, "But I had nothing to do with it."

Fire officials who frantically fought the blaze say flames at the complex spread quickly.


"These particular buildings have a common attic so it's easy for the fire to get into chases
and run north, south, east and west," said Deputy Fire Chief Erik Newman with the Clark
County Fire Department.
 
The fire is believed to have started in a wooden chest on the patio that Wilkinson used to store pillows and fabric, fire investigators said.

 
One person was sent to Sunrise Hospital for smoke inhalation.

"It's times like this that I don't even want my daughter here because I'm concerned with
her safety now," said Robert Higuera, a resident at Sonoma Shadows.

Over the years, 8 News NOW has covered some costly fires at the Sonoma Shadows Apartment complex.

Most recently, a fire broke out on Sept. 27. On July 5, firefighters pointed to fireworks as the cause of another blaze that left more than 50 people displaced and caused $1.5 million in damage.

"I believe they should start putting sprinkler systems in these places. I can understand these places are old, but you got a lot of lives in here," said Robert Green, who lives at Sonoma Shadows.

The suspect had an empty matchbook and a black lighter on him when he was booked into the Clark County Detention Center. 

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