Las Vegas Fire and Rescue
Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 | 8:28 a.m.
Investigators say a homeless woman could have played a role in a fire early Saturday at a home in the northwest Las Vegas Valley.
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue responded just before 3 a.m. to the blaze at 10100 Dryfork Ave., near Cheyenne Road and Hualapai Way, after dispatchers received reports that a fire was blowing out windows in an upstairs master bathroom. Callers reported the home had been vacant for months.
Fire department spokesman Tim Szymanski said neighbors reported that a homeless woman was seen entering the house over the past few weeks. On Friday night, neighbors confronted the woman as she tried to enter the house, authorities said.
The neighbors called police, but officers couldn't find the woman, Szymanski said. The house caught fire early Saturday morning.
While battling the blaze, firefighters were called to a nearby house for a medical emergency and treated a woman. The woman's hands and face were blackened from smoke, Szymanski said.
She told paramedics she was sleeping in a trash bin and became ill, then asked residents to call for an ambulance, authorities said. She was questioned as a person of interest in the fire and detained by Metro Police on unrelated charges.
Investigators said the fire started in the closet of an upstairs bedroom. Smoking materials were found and authorities said there were indications a homeless person had been staying there.
The fire, which caused about $75,000 in damage, is under investigation.