Monday, Aug. 27, 2012 | 4:11 p.m.
An arson investigation is under way after an early morning fire in the northeast valley claimed the life of a family pet, officials said.
North Las Vegas Police and Fire departments are conducting a joint investigation into the fire, which was reported at 6:08 a.m. Monday in an apartment complex at 4249 N. Commerce St.
North Las Vegas firefighters discovered heavy smoke coming from the bottom floor of a two-story apartment building and evacuated residents, the city of North Las Vegas said in a news release. Firefighters entered a first-floor apartment unit and extinguished the fire, which they said was heavily concentrated to a bedroom.
Neighbors said a dog was still inside the apartment unit after the male occupant had left for work. Firefighters found the dog suffering from smoke inhalation in the bathroom and could not revive it, said Fire Capt. Cedric Williams.
Firefighters put out the blaze within five minutes, but smoke lingered for about 50 minutes before it completely dissipated, the release said.
The apartment unit sustained significant smoke and fire damage, rendering it uninhabitable, the release said. The unit above it also sustained smoke damage.
A damage estimate was not immediately available.
Personnel from the Clark County Fire Department and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue also responded.
Officials are urging anyone with information on circumstances of the fire to leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.