Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

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Crime:

Video captures fire being set at Las Vegas pet store, authorities say

Updated Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 | 8:15 p.m.

Gloria Eun Hye Lee

Gloria Eun Hye Lee

Pet store fire

Surveillance video at a Las Vegas pet store captures the storeowner with another man pouring gasoline throughout the store and setting a fire that endangered the lives of 27 dogs inside, authorities said today.

The flames erupted shortly before 1 a.m. Jan. 27 at the Prince and Princesses Pet Shop at 6870 S. Rainbow Boulevard, near Spring Mountain Road. Automatic sprinklers extinguished most of the fire; the dogs left behind were rescued by responding Clark County firefighters.

Shop owner Gloria Eun Hye Lee, 35, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree arson and first-degree arson.

A Clark County Fire arrest report indicates the following:

Surveillance cameras captured Lee entering the front door and then opening the backdoor for a man carrying three gasoline containers. While the man poured the gasoline throughout the store and puppy kennels, Lee collected files from the office.

She then collected the gas cans in a white trash bag and locked the front door. Meanwhile, the man lit some newspapers on fire, igniting the gasoline and causing flames to erupt throughout the store.

The man and Lee then exited through the back door of the leased building before firefighters arrived.

The fire caused about $100,000 in damage to the building, but no people or dogs were harmed, Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck said.

Lee’s scheduled arraignment this morning in Las Vegas Township Justice Court was delayed. Her next court appearance is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday.

No charges have been filed against the alleged accomplice, according to the Clark County District Attorney's Office.

The Nevada state director of the U.S. Humane Society, however, urged the DA’s Office to pursue the strongest possible criminal charges against Lee.

“We commend the firefighters who swiftly responded and saved the 27 puppies inside,” Holly Haley, the Nevada state director, wrote in a statement. “This is a frightening reminder that animals in the pet trade need the strongest protections possible, and should not be treated as disposable inventory.”

Sun reporter Jackie Valley contributed to this story.

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