Neighbors say squatters have become a danger
Residents of one valley neighborhood say squatters have become a danger, after a vacant house went up in flames, almost igniting others nearby. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Residents of one valley neighborhood say squatters have become a danger after a vacant house went up in flames, almost igniting others nearby.
Firefighters from Las Vegas and Clark County responded to the fire in the 2500 block of Las Verdes Street, near Sahara Avenue and Arville, on Tuesday night.
"We woke up and saw a wall of fire from our window," says next-door neighbor, Marilyn Saden. She told her husband, John, to call 911.
Firefighters had their hands full battling the heavy flames and smoke. What's left is a charred mess. But, Marilyn and John say the damage to the property started long before the fire.
"Everything inside was either already gone or completely ruined, because people broke-in and had a free for all," Marilyn says.
"They stole the copper, the wiring, and the air conditioning unit for the brass," John adds.
The house has been vacant and boarded up for more than a year. Marilyn and John say the owner of the home died two years ago, and has no family members to claim it.
The Clark County Assessor's website confirms the home is not a foreclosure. Action News put in a call to the City of Las Vegas about it, but has not heard back.
Firefighters say the inside of the home was full of trash and debris. They determined the blaze was started by squatters living there illegally.
"It had to have been," Marilyn says. "There's no power or electricity in the home. Someone had to have been in there."
"The police had run them out of here several times," John says. "The code enforcement people have been by and chained the guard doors down, but it doesn't seem to deter them."
John is now keeping watch on his own front porch, in an effort to keep the unwanted visitors out of his neighborhood. But he says help is needed.