Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 | 8 p.m.
Firefighters were kept busy on Washington Avenue early today battling two unrelated fires that may have both been caused by careless cigarette smoking.
The first erupted about 10 a.m. at the Rockview Springs Apartments, near Washington Avenue and Cimarron Road, according to the Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Department. When emergency responders arrived, smoke was billowing from a downstairs apartment and a fire was burning inside the kitchen on a countertop next to the stove.
The flames leapt onto cabinets before firefighters could put them out.
The blaze was deemed accidental in nature, though an exact cause could not be determined. “Smoking material” was found nearby, and firefighters “could not rule out the possibility of careless smoking,” fire officials said.
The apartment was mostly damaged by thick smoke along with some burned property in the kitchen. The blaze caused an estimated $15,000 worth of damages.
The American Red Cross is helping two people who live in the apartment.
The second blaze erupted less than two miles away inside the Cornerstone Crossing Apartments, 6666 W. Washington Ave., near Rainbow Boulevard, just before 2 p.m.
Flames at a one-story wood frame apartment building were put out in less than a minute after firefighters arrived.
Fire investigators determined that careless smoking was the cause of that fire. Residents had unsuccessfully tried to put the fire out using a fire extinguisher, officials said.
The damage, estimated at $5,000 worth, was confined to a bedroom. No one was hurt.