Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 | 11:38 a.m.
Smoke pouring from a small vacant house near downtown Las Vegas this morning alerted Las Vegas firefighters to a blaze, but a homeless man sleeping at the back entrance -- who was later arrested for trespassing -- was unaware the house was on fire.
When firefighters arrived at the house at about 9:10 a.m. on the corner of Carson Avenue and Seventh Street, they found a man sleeping at the back entrance who didn't know about flames in the basement, said Tim Szymanski, spokesman for the Las Vegas Fire Department.
Firefighters found the fire in the basement and quickly put the flames out, Szymanski said. Damage, estimated at $15,000, was confined to the basement.
Fire investigators said it appeared that homeless people were staying in the house, but the exact cause of the fire has not been determined, Szymanski said.
The man who was sleeping at the rear door was arrested by Metro Police and is expected to be charged with trespassing, Szymanski said. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.