LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A fire ravaged a downtown area early Sunday morning, destroying several buildings and about two dozen vehicles, fire officials said.
Only one minor injury was reported as Las Vegas Fire & Rescue crews battled the blaze that covered an area on Fremont and Tower streets beginning at about 1 a.m. The person was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Officials said the fire started in a building that was under construction and that at least 10 buildings were either damaged or destroyed.
Nearly 100 people were evacuated from their residences and were sent to Hollingsworth STEAM Academy on East Ogden Avenue, several blocks from the ravaged area. The Red Cross is assisting those who were displaced, and people can get help at the academy from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. They also can call 800-RED-CROSS.
According to a news release from Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, just before 1 a.m., a crew returning to its station from a call noticed a large column of smoke on East Charleston Boulevard. The crew saw a large building that was under construction engulfed in flames as it approached Eastern Avenue, the release said.
The building on fire was inside a condominium complex off Fremont Street. The crew entered the complex and found it was letting off extreme heat, a threat to several nearby occupied condo buildings.
The crew radioed for help and then started to evacuate residents, the release said.
An NV Energy power pole at the back of the building was on fire and collapsed, bringing down several power lines, which caused a large area to go dark, the release said.
A second alarm was requested for additional crews. The release said the fire escalated because of brisk southwest winds, and two more alarms were sounded, bringing “approximately 40 fire units with 140 fire personnel from Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Clark County to the scene.”
At about 6 a.m.. Fire & Rescue said the fire was mostly extinguished but that flare-ups and hotspots remained. Firefighters are expected to be on site for most of the day.
Fire & Rescue said the fire involved the most “occupied dwelling units” at the same time in the city over the past 25 years. “
The cause is under investigation.