Flames from 3-alarm fire near Tropicana and Fort Apache destroy apartment building

Local News

A fire destroyed an apartment complex under construction at Tropicana and Ft. Apache on Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo credit: Clark Co. Fire Dept.)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Winds helped fan the flames of a massive 3-alarm fire late Monday night in a southwest Las Vegas neighborhood.

The fire, which was reported just before midnight, raced through a 206-unit apartment complex under construction near Fort Apache Road and Tropicana Avenue. More than 100 firefighters from different jurisdictions battled the blaze throughout the night and remain on the scene Tuesday morning to deal with hot spots.

“There’s a couple factors here that really got this fire going. One, it’s in the construction phase so we had exposed wood, exposed combustibles. Two, it’s the wind. The wind fueled the fire and it pushed the fire,” said Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Warren Whitney.

No one was injured in the blaze.

WATCH INTERVIEW: News Conference with Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Warren Whitney.

The fire was escalated to three alarms when the windy conditions spread embers from the fire over several blocks causing some small bush fires and raising concerns about nearby homes. There was a mandatory evacuation of some residents who were taken to Lawrence Middle School.

The video seen above was Tweeted to 8 News Now courtesy the @DennFam on Twitter.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time. Firefighters say it’s still too dangerous to begin an investigation.

“Out fire investigation team is on scene now. All they have is that it traveled from the north to the south side. They’re attempting to get footage from local businesses, camera footage, to see if it can indicate what started it,” said Deputy Chief Warren Whitney.

The complex, Ely at Fort Apache, was planning to start pre-leasing the luxury apartment homes in February.

The developer of the complex, Calida Group, sent 8 News Now the following statement about the fire:

“Early this morning, our project, Ely at Fort Apache, which was under construction, was impacted by a large fire. We do not have any information regarding the cause of the fire, but we believe no one was hurt. The fire seems to have been contained to our property but we have no further information at this time. For more information please contact the Las Vegas Fire Department.”

Jared M. Weinstock | Chief Operating Officer Calida Group 

The complex is a total loss. Initially, damage was estimated to be between $30 million to $40 million but Deputy Chief Whitney revised that amount to between $25 million to $30 million.

Traci Wilson, an executive producer at KLAS-TV went live on Facebook from the scene.

A photo sent into the 8 News Now newsroom shows flames so high they could be seen from the 215 highway.

Multiple units and firefighters were called to the scene. Below is a slideshow of some of the firefighters on scene battling the blaze.

Angela Winbush, whose Twitter handle is @AngelaWinbush7, also tweeted us video. She could see the flames from her apartment complex which was across the way.

The flames could also bee seen from a gas station and restaurant in the area, and from some areas across town. The photos below were tweeted to 8 News Now by a woman whose Twitter handle is @EEmely1002.

This video was sent to 8 News Now via Twitter courtesy Kyle Marsh, whose handle is @kmarsh10 on Twitter.

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