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Apartment fire leaves 70 looking for new place to live

Reported by: Denise Rosch

Reported by: Sandra Gonzalez
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Updated: 6/17/2013 10:24 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- At least 70 people spent their Father’s Day looking for a new place to live, after a massive fire ripped through the Encantada Apartment Complex on 28th Street near Stewart.

 Investigators are scratching their heads trying to figure out what sparked the fire.

The fire broke out just before 7 a.m. quickly growing into a three-alarm fire in which 85 firefighters were fighting the flames from the ground and the air.

“I just started hearing like screams like help me help me and I woke up, and like my parents were like getting up and we went outside and we saw a lot of smoke and it was really hot,” said Zarra Diaz.

Gloria Leon who lives in the same apartment complex noticed the fire was coming from the building where her mom lives.

Thankfully her mom was visiting another daughter and wasn't aware of the drama unfolding until Gloria called her and told her what was happening.

“’Mom the building is on fire’ she told her, I can't see everything. The smoke is really really dark. The firemens are around everywhere,” Leon said.

When her mother arrived, the apartment was destroyed from the flood of water firefighters used to douse the flames. Despite the damage, a small miracle that brought a smile to her face: she was relieved all but one of her fish survived. But still she realizes so many others have lost so much more

“I feel bad, but I know I’m not going to end up in the street because my kids live here but in time we are going to get used to this and at the time we have nothing, well I am left with nothing because I live alone," said Leon’s mother, Gloria Merlan, a fire victim.

While she will now live with daughter, many people will have to find another place to call home.

Hours after the fire was extinguished, some tried to access their damaged units to see what, if anything was salvageable.

At one point it got very heated outside the complex with one family trying to access their belongings.

“Our stuff like got actually saved from the fire and they're just not letting us get our stuff,” said tenant Juan Davila.

But for the most part, while the morning was a bit chaotic, the Red Cross was there to help.

“We're actually out here making sure everybody, those affected by this if they have any shelter, we're providing food, and we’re giving Disney dolls to the little kids just to make them feel comfortable,” said La’Shana Smith of the Red Cross of Southern Nevada.

Two people were treated for minor injuries, and fire fighters are still trying to determine the cause.

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue say this is the biggest fire they've responded to so far this year. They estimate it caused about $300,000 in damage.

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