Three-Alarm Fire Displaces 91 Residents - 8 News NOW

Three-Alarm Fire Displaces 91 Residents

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LAS VEGAS -- Firefighters battled a three-alarm fire at an apartment complex on N. 28th St. Sunday morning.

Thick black smoke billowed out of the Encantada Apartment Complex before crews arrived. The fire destroyed 24 units and displaced 91 people. Firefighters say it's one of the valley's biggest fires this year.

Zaira Diaz's parents woke her up about 6:30 a.m. They said their home was burning around them.

"Waking up to your house burning and trying to get your family out of the house safe, it's like you don't think about what to pick up, what you're going to leave - you just have to leave," said Diaz.

Zaira and her family got out with the clothes on their backs. The blaze destroyed most of their other belongings.

"We lost a lot of things. We lost our home. It's pretty hard," she said.

Firefighters say the inferno quickly spread to the roof after traveling through a duct or chase that connected the apartments.

"It's used for electrical wire, plumbing, sewer lines and goes through to serve all the apartments. It acts like a chimney," said Tim Szymanski, spokesperson for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue. "It got up into the attic area before we could get ahead of it, and once it got up there, that's open timber, and it's like a lumber yard, and it just took off."

Investigators say they believe the fire started in one of the apartment units. Two people were injured trying to escape the blaze. Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause.

Zaira says the flames took her home but not what matters most. "We got out safe, and I'm really thankful for that," she said.

The damage is estimated at approximately $300,000. Red Cross volunteers were at the apartment trying to make sure the displaced residents had a safe place to spend the night.

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