At approximately 6:16 p.m. Tuesday night, multiple fire crews responded to a single family residence in Bunkerville for a structure fire with a possible person trapped at 128 W. Second South St.
It was the highest emergency response seen in recent history, as Clark County Fire in Bunkerville requested assistance from Mesquite, Beaver Dam and Logandale fire departments as well as Medic West and AMR services from Las Vegas. All crews fought for over three and a half hours to knock down a fire that had begun outside of the building and spread to the roof.
“It was very difficult to fight,” said Clark County Assistant Fire Chief Larry Haydu. “The way they built these older houses makes it tough to fight. They used a lath and plaster method, which is one-inch wood strips with plaster over it, and it is very difficult to knock through.”
According to Haydu, the initial findings suggest that the fire began on the northwest side of the property, outside, spreading to a tree and then to the roof of the house.
“This fire was very difficult to fight. The roof was a factor because it was so weak. It’s difficult to get crews on the roof when it’s not secure,” Haydu noted while pointing out that the air conditioner was being held up by a simple beam. “We had to work around that from the inside, which made things even more
difficult.” The structure, according to the Clark County Accessors Office was built in 1931.
Crews from the other agencies began to be released from the scene around 9 p.m. while Haydu and his personnel with Clark County Fire stayed to wait for the investigators and finish some minor flare ups. Haydu said that the fire is suspicious in nature and will be thoroughly investigated.
Thankfully, there were no fatalities from the incident, other than one of the family dogs inside of the residence. Several people from the neighborhood and one of the residents was treated and/or transported for smoke inhalation. There were no injuries reported by any of the responders fighting the fire.
As the neighborhood gathered around to watch as things unfolded, several brought the crews cases of water. “This community has always looked out for us and helped when they could,” said Keith Browning, a firefighter with
Mesquite Fire Rescue. “We are very grateful for their help and concern.”
When asked about previous fire incidents in recent weeks in Bunkerville, Haydu noted that this was not tied to the six or seven arson investigations currently open. Metro detectives on scene also stated that Clark County Fire was investigating those incidents, which included a double-wide manufactured home that burned three to four weeks ago. That structure was thought to have been abandoned. Neighbors are encouraged to keep a steady lookout in their neighborhoods to help catch the suspect(s) responsible for the multiple arson attempts, and are asked to call authorities if they see something suspicious.
Since the deadline, more developments have arisen since the first incident on May 16.
Mesquite Local News responded with Clark County, Mesquite and Beaver Dam Fire Departments on May 17, not 20 hours after the first fire, to find the house completely engulfed in flames, far more than the day before.
Investigators are still working the scene to determine the cause, but neighbors say that the previous tenant, who was displaced by the first fire, had returned to the property twice that day and attempted to make entry.
Contacts to Haydu have been unsuccessful, but the MLN will be watching this story closely as it develops and will update online as needed.