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December 20, 2014

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Las Vegas boy, 4, dies after fire engulfs his home

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Steve Marcus

Metro Police officers, left, confer near the scene of a fatal house fire near Warm Springs Road and the I-215 Tuesday Jan. 21, 2014. A 4-year-old child is reported to have died.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 | 11:40 p.m.

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Metro Police Lt. Ray Steiber takes questions from reporters after a fatal house fire near Warm Springs Road and the I-215 Tuesday Jan. 21, 2014. A 4-year-old child is reported to have died.

A 4-year-old boy died after a fire gutted his Las Vegas home this afternoon.

Thick, dark smoke quickly enveloped the house in the 7200 block of Wichita Court about 4:25 p.m., said neighbor Dave Bennett, one of several who tried putting out the flames with garden hoses until firefighters arrived.

Deputy Chief Erik Newman said it took crews less than 10 minutes to tackle the fire, which erupted in the Warm Springs Ranch subdivision near the 215 Beltway and Warm Springs Road.

While putting out the flames, emergency responders learned that children might be inside, Newman said. Moments later, they found Maximiliano Rene Ibarra-Martinez unconscious inside the home’s master bedroom. His sister and mother got outside safely.

Paramedics tried resuscitating Maximiliano before rushing him to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The boy's great-uncle, Jose Rosales, silently awaited news from his niece next to a group of neighbors who had gathered around the fire trucks and police cars that flooded their neighborhood. Rosales declined to speak about the boy, noting that he knew little about the fire.

Metro Police Lt. Ray Steiber said homicide detectives will try to determine whether the boy's death was accidental or intentional. He offered no other details about the incident and stressed that the investigation is in its early stages.

"We're not saying anything that occurred out here tonight was criminal," Steiber said. "But I think we owe it to the community, to the families involved, to make that determination."

Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said 54 first responders rushed to the second-alarm fire.

Last year, the Clark County Fire Department had two fire fatalities, its lowest number on record. In 2012, 13 people died in fires in Clark County.

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