A tragic event took place in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Six are dead and 13 others injured after a fire broke out at a downtown Las Vegas apartment building, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
According to reports, the casualty figures make this fire the deadliest in the city’s history.
The cause of the fire at the Alpine Motel Apartments has yet to be made official and is still under investigation.
At this preliminary stage in the probe, it is already being reported that the conflagration was “accidental in nature.” Early indications seem to be that the blaze may have originated with a stove in one of the first-floor apartments.
Many of the survivors are already pointing to serious building safety issues about which they had complained to management for some time. One such concern had to do with the need for residents to use their stoves to heat their apartments, a scenario that is certainly in keeping with the theory that a stove was to blame for Saturday’s fire.
Other complaints include a lack of proper fire safety equipment in the building, a factor which may have contributed to the high number of deaths.
Reports suggest that the three-story building was not in fact fitted with fire alarms. Rather, residents were alerted to the fire by others, rather than by appropriate smoke and fire detection systems. That being the case, it is probably lucky that the death toll was not even higher.
Reporters have interviewed survivors of the blaze who recounted the horrific event. Many have described themselves as being trapped between the heavy smoke and heat that was pervading the first floor and a locked door that would have afforded them access to the roof and a possible escape, according to NBC News.
That being the case, many jumped out of second and third-floor windows in order to save their lives, successfully freeing themselves from the inferno, but suffering injuries in the process.
Of the fatalities suffered in the fire, three people died inside an apartment, one died after being taken to the hospital, and one was found dead outside on the sidewalk, according to Fox News; no information is known about the final victim. Of those injured, five are currently said to be in critical condition.
The building, according to its manager, had a total of 42 units, and it is unclear how many of those apartments were occupied when the fire broke out. Some 30 to 35 residents, although happy to be alive, now find themselves without a place to live. Assistance for those survivors is being provided by the American Red Cross.