LAS VEGAS -- An eastside Las Vegas neighborhood is badly shaken after a small child died and his brother was burned in a fire that occurred in a vacant home late Thursday afternoon.
Investigators from Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, Metro Police and the Clark Corner’s Office determined the fire was accidental, the result of the children playing with fire. There were no injuries to first responders during the incident.
Fire dispatchers received numerous calls at 4:23 p.m. that a house at 2309 Howard Drive (Fremont/Eastern) was on fire and that children were possibly trapped inside the burning home. When firefighters arrived a few minutes later, heavy fire and smoke was showing from the one story wood frame house. When firefighters arrived on scene, they were told many times that a small boy was still inside the burning house. Another boy standing in front of the house next door was burned and immediately taken to University Medical Center in a Fire & Rescue medical unit.
Firefighters entered the home and quickly brought the fire under control. In the process they found the body of a small boy lying on the floor of a workshop that is detached from the main house, but under the carport making it part of the house.
The small workshop was completely consumed by the fire, the carport and the rear portion of the house along with the roof was heavily damaged by fire. The rest of the house had smoke damage. Damage was estimated at $75,000.
An extensive investigation by Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and the Clark County Corner’s Office determined the fire was accidental, the result of children playing with fire.
Investigators determined that at least four boys, and possibly more, were playing with fireworks for the past two days. Neighbors reported hearing the fireworks during both days. Although four boys were playing with the fireworks, many more were watching.
On Wednesday, the people that lived at 2309 Howard Drive moved out of the house taking everything with them. The house was left unsecured and later in the day and today children were seen running in and out of the house at various times. Some of the boys went inside the home and starting setting off the fireworks inside and behind the house.
The boys then moved to the inside of the workshop where they set some small items on fire and wanted to watch the fire grow.
As the fire got larger they were concerned and attempted to put the fire out. They found something in the workshop and threw it on the fire which flashed and intensified the fire.
Two boys were at the door and were able to get out with no injuries. One of the boys was caught by the flames and his clothing caught fire. He ran out yelling for help. The smaller boy was closest to the fire and was unable to escape.
The boy that was taken to the hospital had burns to his arms and legs, his injuries are not life threatening but are a concern. All burns are considered extremely serious in all cases and require special treatment many times in the Lion’s Burn Care Center at University Medical Center.
This is the fourth fire fatality this year in the city of Las Vegas.
-- Las Vegas Fire and Rescue press release