Downtown Las Vegas Sees Multiple Fires, Could Be Linked to Homeless Squatters

Posted on: June 28, 2022, 06:19h. 

Last updated on: June 28, 2022, 03:13h.

Four Las Vegas buildings caught fire during a multi-hour stretch from Sunday to Monday. There were no injuries reported.

Firefighters extinguish a fire in an apartment at Cabana Suites on Ogden Avenue
Firefighters extinguish a fire in an apartment Monday at Cabana Suites on Ogden Avenue. Other fires broke out in Las Vegas around the same time. (Image: Las Vegas Fire and Rescue)

A blaze broke out at about 5:14 am Monday in a vacant three-story apartment building at the intersection of Ogden Avenue and 7th Street. The downtown fire was located near the El Cortez Hotel & Casino. The property is next to the El Cortez Cabana Suites. The El Cortez is Las Vegas’ oldest existing casino. Flames did not reach the gaming property.

The fire was first seen in a ground-floor unit in the apartment building. Flames soon engulfed the building. The blaze was extinguished at about 6:15 am.

Fires Erupt Sunday Evening

An earlier fire was reported at 11:22 pm Sunday. It was in the basement and courtyard of a vacant motel at 13th Street and Fremont Street. At 11:55 pm, a fire was reported at a vacant one-story residence on Harrison Avenue.

A vacant restaurant on North Rainbow Boulevard also caught fire at 7:41 pm Sunday. There was about $35,000 in damage, Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

The cause is undetermined, but they said they couldn’t rule out homeless people, because the person who called it in said they thought homeless people were messing around, possibly starting it,” Szymanski told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The fire department did not have an estimate on damages for the other recent fires.

Historic Blaze

The fires follow more significant blazes that took place in recent weeks.

Las Vegas fire investigators have found “nothing suspicious” when searching for the cause of a fire at a Fremont Street residential complex that broke out on June 19.

The historic blaze caused widespread damage to residential buildings off of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. It was the largest number of occupied dwelling units on fire in 25 years, Las Vegas firefighters reported. Ten or more buildings were heavily damaged or destroyed in the four-alarm fire that took five hours to bring under control.

Much of downtown lost power in connection with the fire, according to initial reports. A utility pole at the scene caught fire and collapsed during the blaze, and utility lines fell to the ground.

Most of the buildings that caught fire were part of a condominium complex. There was one minor injury from the fire.

Warehouse Fire

On June 22, a vacant warehouse west of the Las Vegas Strip caught on fire, with firefighters facing heavy flames and smoke. The property is located near the Palms Casino Resort.

The first arriving firefighters found a fire with heavy smoke and flames. There were no injuries reported, based on initial information from Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Warren Whitney.

The warehouse has been empty for about 10 years, according to Whitney. The site was also the location of prior fires started by homeless individuals, the deputy chief said.