Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 | 12:52 p.m.
A fire in a vacant, two-story apartment building being used by squatters near the central part of the valley caused an estimated $150,000 in damage Sunday morning. No one was hurt.
According to Las Vegas Fire and Rescue:
Crews responded about 8:35 a.m. to 2308 Tam Drive, near Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, to find heavy smoke coming out of the first and second floors of the wood-frame, stucco building with 10 units.
The building, which was built in 1957, had been boarded up and had no utilities.
It took firefighters about 30 minutes to extinguish the flames, which started in a downstairs unit after a small medical oxygen bottle exploded. Oxygen bottles can explode when exposed to fire.
The fire then spread through the walls to the second floor and attic area.
Neighbors said squatters had been seen going in and out of the building.
Two other fires that occurred just down the street at 2320 Tam Drive on Nov. 28-29 also damaged a vacant building used by squatters.
When the buildings are boarded up for renovation, maintenance personnel say, squatters rip the boards off as soon as they are put up. Neighbors said squatters are seen tearing off the boards and going into the buildings.
Firefighters boarded up the scene.