LAS VEGAS – A large fire broke out in the southwest valley of Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon, causing a plume of smoke visible throughout the city. The blaze originated at 8030 W. Maule Ave., near the intersection of South Buffalo Drive and the 215 Beltway, according to a statement from Clark County Fire Department spokesperson Kelly Blackmon.
Emergency responders were dispatched after receiving multiple reports around 4:30 p.m. regarding a fully engulfed building under construction. Witnesses described a scene of intense flames, with fiery embers and debris raining down on nearby areas, igniting fires in grassy areas and dumpsters. The fire’s magnitude was evident as the walls of the building collapsed.
Residents in neighboring complexes, such as Julia Maranville and Shannon Leyden, located on the opposite side of the 215 Beltway, reported feeling the intense heat from the inferno. Maranville described the experience as extremely hot and witnessed the building’s walls crumbling amidst the blaze. Leyden, on the other hand, expressed astonishment at the size of the flames, describing them as unlike anything she had seen before.
The fire prompted transportation authorities to issue warnings of delays in the affected area. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada tweeted that heavy smoke from the fire necessitated the closure of three right lanes on the southbound 215.
In response to the escalating situation, a second alarm was raised, prompting additional fire crews and vehicles to be dispatched to the scene. Clark County Assistant Fire Chief Brian O’Neal stated that 75 fire personnel and 11 fire engines initially responded to the incident.
As of Tuesday evening, the building remained unstable and was considered a total loss. Fire investigators began examining the cause of the fire. Fortunately, surrounding buildings were not exposed to the point of evacuation, thanks to the initial defensive strategy implemented by the fire department.
While some residents received urgent notifications to vacate their units, O’Neal confirmed that neighboring structures were protected from lasting damage.
Erin McClendon, a tenant residing across the street from the burning building, recalled receiving a message from her apartment complex urging residents to leave their units safely. McClendon and her two sons, who were driving home at the time, witnessed the large plume of smoke and decided to watch the flames from a safe distance.
Despite initial fear, McClendon and her sons praised the firefighters for their swift response and effective firefighting efforts. They expressed gratitude for the firefighters’ presence in their community and commended their exceptional work.
As the fire investigation continues, more information will be provided by fire department officials.
Credits: Review Journal
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