LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – An elderly man was taken to the trauma center at University Medical Center in critical condition after a fire in his apartment Tuesday morning. Neighbors tried to rescue the man, but conditions inside the apartment due to the fire made it impossible to enter the unit. The fire appears to be accidental in nature.

Fire dispatchers received 9-1-1 calls at 7:20 a.m. January 9 that smoke was coming out of a ground-floor apartment at 1620 Cordoba Lane (Vegas/Decatur) and an elderly man was trapped inside.

When firefighters arrived, smoke was coming out the front door of the apartment in the two-story, wood-frame/stucco apartment building. The front door was already open; neighbors used construction tools to break into the apartment in an attempt to rescue the man. But smoke was too thick for the neighbors to enter the apartment, they pointed out to firefighters where the man was lying on the floor in the smoke-filled apartment.

Firefighters were able to quickly rescue the man. He was treated on scene and then taken to the trauma unit at University Medical Center (UMC) with smoke inhalation and critical burns on the upper part of his body. His condition was listed as critical.

Fire investigators believe the fire started on the stove. It appeared the man may have been cooking and there was a flash fire on the stove that spread to the cabinets. It may be a cooking-related fire, the leading cause of fires in Las Vegas and leading reason why people are injured by fire.

The fire was confined to the one apartment. The kitchen area was gutted by the fire; the rest of the apartment had heat and smoke damage. Damage was estimated at $60,000.

It appears at this time that no one was displaced by the fire except the victim in the hospital. There were no other reported injuries.

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