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Arson suspected in explosion, fire at vacant house

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Aaron Thompson / Special to the Sun

City of Las Vegas fire investigators survey the damage to a home at 2601 Mason Ave. after an explosion and fire gutted it. The home was vacant at the time of the blaze, fire officials said. Neighbors reported the blaze at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Fire officials said arson might be to blame in the incident.

Updated Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 | 11:06 p.m.

House fire/explosion

City of Las Vegas firefighters wrap up extinguishing a fire that followed an explosion at a home at 2601 Mason Ave. Fire officials said arson might be to blame in the incident. Neighbors reported the blaze at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Launch slideshow »

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An explosion and fire Thursday night did about $200,000 in damage to a vacant house near Rancho Drive and West Charleston Boulevard, fire officials said. The home is just blocks away from University Medical Center.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Several neighbors reported the explosion, which blew out one side of the house, Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said. Witnesses reported seeing flames shooting out the side of the home.

The fire, which was reported at about 8:30 p.m. at 2601 Mason Ave., took some 30 firefighters about 15 minutes to extinguish, Szymanski said.

No one was injured and no nearby homes were damaged. Fire officials suspect arson but the cause of the fire is under investigation, Szymanski said.

Mark Stewart, who lives a few houses away, said, "I was on the phone and I heard a boom. When I got here, they were putting out the fire."

Szymanski said it was fortunate no one was injured because anyone walking by on the sidewalk could have been hurt.

The cause of the explosion and fire is under investigation.

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