Las Vegas Sun

July 31, 2014

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Homeless woman possibly linked to northwest valley house fire

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Las Vegas Fire and Rescue

Las Vegas firefighters battle a blaze Saturday morning at a northwest valley home. Authorities say a homeless person had been staying at the home and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Las Vegas firefighters battle a blaze Saturday morning at a northwest valley home. Authorities say a homeless person had been staying at the home and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Investigators say a homeless woman could have played a role in a fire early Saturday at a home in the northwest Las Vegas Valley.

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue responded just before 3 a.m. to the blaze at 10100 Dryfork Ave., near Cheyenne Road and Hualapai Way, after dispatchers received reports that a fire was blowing out windows in an upstairs master bathroom. Callers reported the home had been vacant for months.

Fire department spokesman Tim Szymanski said neighbors reported that a homeless woman was seen entering the house over the past few weeks. On Friday night, neighbors confronted the woman as she tried to enter the house, authorities said.

The neighbors called police, but officers couldn't find the woman, Szymanski said. The house caught fire early Saturday morning.

While battling the blaze, firefighters were called to a nearby house for a medical emergency and treated a woman. The woman's hands and face were blackened from smoke, Szymanski said.

She told paramedics she was sleeping in a trash bin and became ill, then asked residents to call for an ambulance, authorities said. She was questioned as a person of interest in the fire and detained by Metro Police on unrelated charges.

Investigators said the fire started in the closet of an upstairs bedroom. Smoking materials were found and authorities said there were indications a homeless person had been staying there.

The fire, which caused about $75,000 in damage, is under investigation.

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  1. Think upstream: If the government would do more to assist homeless, i.e. shelter, food, job training, they would become productive members of society and tax paying citizens. People seem to have more disdain for a homeless person than for a corporate big-wig scating out on taxes.

    Not all homeless choose to be that way, but can't find proper help to get out of the situation. It's also true that many of the homeless population have mental disturbances, but nobody seems to get into an uproar when the Gov says that he is going to cut mental health services.

    Everyone seems to want to best of everything without paying for it. We live in a first world country, let's start acting like it.

  2. @HunterMG: well said.

  3. with the amount of houses under foreclosure in the valley, its a shock this isn't a more common occurance.