Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009 | 1:33 p.m.
A child playing with a barbecue lighter set a couch on fire Sunday morning, prompting the evacuation of an apartment building near Main Street and Wyoming Avenue, according to Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.
The fire at the Casino Center Apartments, 1520 S. Casino Center Blvd., eventually gutted one apartment and caused moderate fire damage to another unit, said spokesman Tim Szymanski. Water damaged two downstairs units but one of them was vacant. Firefighters ruled the blaze accidental and estimated the damage at $50,000.
The fire department received numerous calls at about 9:50 a.m. and firefighters could see a column of black smoke in the sky as they left the station.
The father of the girl who started the fire was taken to the hospital. He was so upset when the girl admitted to starting the fire that he aggravated a pre-existing medical condition, Szymanski said.
The family of two lost everything but other residents were able to return to their apartments within the hour, he said. About 35 people were evacuated from the 20-unit building, which was built in 1963.
Two people were treated for smoke inhalation and one for minor facial injuries caused by a fall.
The apartment was engulfed in flames and smoke when firefighters arrived but firefighters brought the blaze under control within 10 minutes, Szymanski said.