LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Squatters inside a vacant condominium may have sparked an early morning fire in East Las Vegas that destroyed three units and left 10 people displaced, Las Vegas fire officials said.
Las Vegas Fire crews responded to the condominium complex on the 4300 block of Devlin Green Court in East Las Vegas around 1 a.m. Thursday following 911 calls, according to a Las Vegas Fire statement.
Heavy flames and smoke were coming from all four units of the four-unit cluster, a fire that burned so intensely that it took several minutes before firefighters could make entry to begin fighting the blaze from the inside.
Neighbors told fire investigators that the blaze started in a courtyard area connecting all four units before spreading to the condos and surrounding trees.
Fire officials said one of the condos was had been vacant for two years and was a regular location for squatters who ripped off boards and occupied the unit. Witnesses reported squatters were seen running out of the unit when the first first started.
The first caused extensive damage to all four units, including more than $200,000 in damage to the condo occupied by the squatters.
Four adults and six children living in the other three units escaped uninjured. The American Red Cross was assisting the displaced families find new homes.