LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – A passer-by called 9-1-1 at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, January 3, to report smoke coming form a house in the 300 block of View Drive (Alta/Jones).

When firefighters arrived, heavy flames and smoke were coming out all the windows and doors of a one-story, wood-frame house. Firefighters’ first concern was to keep the fire from spreading to the rest of the neighborhood. The flames from the house started a large tree on fire in the backyard, which intensified the fire and caused concern for the neighbors, who thought the fire might spread.

Within 10 minutes, firefighters had the fire under control; within 30 minutes they had it extinguished.

Fire investigators believe the fire started in the rear of the house, possibly in the kitchen area. The house was vacant and utilities to the house were disconnected.

The fire gutted the entire interior of the house, causing extensive damage. Damage was estimated at $125,000.

The cause of the fire is undetermined. Neighbors told fire investigators that a squatter family was staying in the house and they were seen leaving the house after the fire began. A car that was parked in the driveway was pushed into the street by a neighbor to keep it from burning. It appeared that someone was living in the car.

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