Fire destroys home, kills family pet
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A family of five was displace when their home accidentally caught on fire Wednesday afternoon. There were no injuries as a result of the fire, although the family dog died in the fire and the family's cat is missing.
Fire dispatchers received numerous 9-1-1 calls at 2:36 p.m. for the house in the 9000 block of Salt Water Court, near Fort Apache Road and Sahara Avenue.
Upon arrival at the scene, firefighters from Las Vegas Fire & Rescue discovered heavy flames and smoke at the 3,500-square-foot home.
It took firefighters approximately 30 minutes to extinguish the fire. No one was at home at the time of the fire.
Fire investigators determined the fire started in an exhaust fan in the ceiling of the laundry room. The flames burned for a while in a void area between the first and second floors, then came out an air vent in a large atrium at the front of the house.
The rooms that were not affected directly by the flames sustained intense heat and smoke damage. A large amount of the family's possessions were damaged or destroyed by the fire.
A four-year-old pet beagle died of smoke inhalation and the family's cat could not be found.
Damage is estimated at $250,000.
The American Red Cross and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Foundation provided assistance to the family.
Small exhaust fans are commonly found in residential bathrooms and laundry rooms have started a number of fires in Las Vegas homes over the years.
If used extensively, they should be vacuumed to remove built-up dust and dirt from the cooling vents for the motor.
When the vents become clogged, the motor overheats and becomes extrememly hot and may eventually catch fire.
This type of motor is also found in refrigerators, freezers, exhaust fans over stoves, ceiling fans and the common house fan used for cooling.
If fans are slow to start, make noise while in operation or do not work at all, they should be left off and repaired or replaced by a qualified electrical technician.