LAS VEGAS -- Fire investigators know the cause of an apartment fire at the Crossings at Lake Mead apartment complex Monday morning.
Investigators believe items stored in a water heater closet started the fire. The bigger issue is why the apartment was without a fire extinguisher.
One person was sent to the hospital because of the blaze and the investigation will continue Tuesday. Residents said they have complained to management about the problem with complaints going unresolved.
The Las Vegas City Fire Marshal is going to do a full review of the property to find out why these life saving devices are missing.
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue officials said a couple in the apartment was lucky to escape the fast-moving fire. The flames extensively charred the outside and the inside of the complex.
Complex resident Lisa Baird said several neighbors tried to put the fire out before it got out of control, but having no extinguishers made it almost impossible. Baird said she tried to comfort the woman who had lost her apartment and belongings in the fire.
"She was just sitting, distraught,” Baird said. “She's just crying her eyes out and I put my arms around here and I just told her to be thankful that you're here."
Fire extinguisher cabinets, including two that were feet away from the apartment that caught fire, were empty, inspectors said.
"No fire extinguishers, any of these little kids could be caught in a fire, at any time and to me that is ridiculous. There is no excuse for it,” Baird said.
Property records show the building was constructed in 1986.
Tim Szymanski with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue said the fire marshal will look closely for code violations and work with management to bring any apartments back up to code.
"What we are going have to do is, we're going to conduct an investigation tomorrow, the city fire marshal will, first of all we need to find out if those fire extinguishers are required,” Szymanski said.
Szymanski added that on average apartments are inspected every two years. The fire department relies on the public to let them know about possible fire code violations.