Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 | 3:27 p.m.
An apartment kitchen fire this morning sent one person to the hospital and damaged $20,000 worth of property. It was the third kitchen fire in Las Vegas within 24 hours.
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said firefighters responded to the most recent fire at 11:45 a.m. after receiving calls of smoke coming from an apartment in the 2400 block of Sunrise Avenue near Eastern Avenue and Fremont Street.
According to Szymanski, neighbors who saw smoke coming from the apartment retrieved fire extinguishers and kicked the front door down, only to find that the flames were too intense to enter. One neighbor suffered minor smoke inhalation and was taken to Sunrise Hospital.
The resident, who is moving out of the apartment, was not home at the time but arrived to find people entering his dwelling. He intervened and a fight broke out. He was later taken to North Vista Hospital for shoulder pain. Szymanski said police arrived on the scene to stabilize the situation as firefighters put the blaze out.
Szymanski said something on the stove caught fire, destroying the kitchen, creating smoke damage throughout the unit and causing $20,000 worth of damage. No other apartments were affected and the fire was ruled accidental because of unattended cooking.
Overnight Las Vegas Fire and Rescue also responded to an accidental kitchen fire in a single-family home at 125 Yale Street near Decatur Boulevard and U.S. 95. Szymanski said firefighters quickly doused the flames and no one was injured.
On Friday, an 80-year-old woman suffered first and second degree burns after another kitchen fire in her home in the 5200 block of Del Ray Avenue. The fire caused $70,000 worth of damage and was also ruled an accident.
Kitchen fires are the leading cause of fires in Las Vegas and across the country and the leading reason people are injured in a fire, Szymanski said.