Las Vegas fire causes over $10 million in damage

Saturday, September 6, 2003

LAS VEGAS -- A massive fire engulfed an under-construction luxury apartment development, destroying 350 units and causing millions of dollars in damage, authorities said.

The cause of the blaze was still under investigation Friday.

There were no injuries, but the fire Thursday night in southeast Las Vegas spread quickly throughout the sprawling construction site, sending flames hundreds of feet into the air.

"It's one of the largest structure fires I've ever seen," said Clark County fire spokesman Bob Leinbach.

He estimated the cost of damages at $10 million to $15 million.

Authorities said about 60 residents living close to the fire were evacuated, and two houses adjacent to the development sustained minor damage.

Keith Heinzerling, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in charge in Las Vegas, said Friday he would meet with local fire officials to determine whether the bureau would assist in the investigation.

A sign outside the property noted that the apartments, which stretched across at least two city blocks and were in various stages of construction, were being built by Ovation Development. There was no answer at Ovation's offices early Friday.

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