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Investigators: House fire that killed couple ruled accidental

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Updated: 8/23/2013 3:11 pm
LAS VEGAS — Fire investigators said today that a house fire on city’s far northwest side on Aug. 8 that took the lives of a Memphis, Tenn., couple and injured the occupants of the home was accidental.

After an extensive investigation, it has been determined the fire started in the attic of the large home in the 9200 block of Empire Rock Street — near Iron Mountain and U.S. 95 — and smoldered for several hours until it broke through the roof and caused a collapse which trapped the people inside the home.

Investigators believe the fire started in the attic as much as 4 to 6 hours before the fire was discovered at 11:53 p.m. It appears the fire started in the attic and smoldered. As it smoldered it also spread. People in the area reported they smelled something burning as early as 6:30 that evening. Around 9 p.m., people saw something like a fog in the area. Though there was an odor of something burning and smoke in the area, people could not find the source.

The occupants inside the house where the fire started were not aware that there was fire activity in the attic. There was no smoke or smoke odor, and the smoke alarms were not active. Suddenly a portion of the attic which served as a patio cover over the patio came crashing down and was fully ablaze. One of the occupants said everything was on fire on the back patio.

The four occupants started to evacuate as portions of the interior started to cave in also which was also on fire. The fire quickly escalated and was raging through the roof by the time firefighters arrived on scene.

The two occupants of the home escaped out the front door but were injured by the fire. The two people who were visiting were unable to escape in time and died.

Damage was estimated at $350,000.

— From news release


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