LAS VEGAS -- One man is dead, a woman suffered smoke inhalation injuries and a firefighter was injured this afternoon in an apartment fire, the third fire in six months at a west side apartment complex.
The fire broke out about 12:55 p.m. in a second-story unit at the Alpine Village Apartments in the 900 block of Brush Street near West Charleston Boulevard and South Decatur Street.
Las Vegas Fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said the man in his 50s was killed and a woman suffered smoke inhalation injuries.
"The man lives alone, but a friend from another building checks up on him quite often," Szymanski said. "He told me he was leaving to go someplace but forgot his sunglasses. He went back and when he headed out he saw the open door to the apartment and heard the smoke alarm. He went up to the room and saw the man sitting in a living room chair with his body on fire. He got a fire extinguisher, but apparently didn't know how to work it. He and some other people got more extinguishers but by then the smoke was too thick and they had to back off off from the apartment."
The man was known to be a smoker, but the official cause of the fire is under investigation, Syzmanski said.
The second-story apartment was gutted and three other units received moderate fire and water damage. Four units on the first floor sustained smoke and water damage.
About 75 firefighters fought the blaze and had it put out 20 minutes after their arrival. A Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Department firefighter was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries that were not life-threatening.
The American Red Cross is assisting residents from 13 apartments. There are 26 displaced residents, 22 adults and four children, officials said.
The damage was estimated at $200,000.
Szymanski said the complex has had three fire calls during the past six months.
Metro's homicide department, fire department investigators and the Clark County's coroner's office will investigate and determine the cause of the fire. Such an investigation is standard procedure in a fatal fire, Szymanski said.
If the death is ruled a fire fatality, it will be the fourth death from fire in Las Vegas this year compared with two deaths in 2011.
The identity of the man will be released by the coroner's office after an autopsy is conducted and relatives are notified.