Published Thursday, May 2, 2013 | 5:15 p.m.
Updated Friday, May 3, 2013 | 1 a.m.
A boy ran out of a burning vacant home Thursday afternoon screaming. His clothes were on fire and his brother was trapped inside.
Several neighbors surrounding the home on the 2300 block of Howard Drive — a residential street off Fremont Street and Eastern Avenue — saw the fire about 4:25 p.m. and alerted Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, fire spokesman Tim Szymanski said.
Fire trucks and emergency vehicles pulled up to the burning home. The boy stood outside with burned arms, insisting his brother was still inside, Szymanski said.
It was too late.
Firefighters fought through the flames and found the boy lying on the floor of the workshop, Szymanski said.
Earlier that day the brothers and two other boys had been running in and out of the unlocked vacant home setting off fireworks, Szymanski said. A group of them then gathered in the workshop attached to the carport to set small items on fire.
They planned to watch the flames consume smaller items, and then, they assumed, flicker out. But the flames kept growing.
They panicked and tried to extinguish it with an unknown liquid in the workshop, Szymanski said. The fire flashed, and the flames intensified.
Two boys at the door escaped without injury. One boy’s clothes were caught by the flames, and the smallest boy was unable to escape, Szymanski said.
Firefighters extinguished the flames quickly, Szymanski said. The boy, who suffered burns, was transported to University Medical Center with burns on his arms and legs.
The fire caused about $75,000 in damage. Hours later, neighbors gawked at the charred remains of the home from their front yards and street corners, whispering about the incident. Some wondered aloud if it was the brothers they had seen running through the neighborhood, ding-dong ditching and riding their scooters.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office will determine the identity of the boy after next-of-kin has been notified.
Fire investigators ruled the fire accidental. This is the fourth fire fatality this year in las Vegas.