Local News


No fire hydrants in area where Henderson mansion destroyed by fire

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jun 14, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A mansion on Welpman Way on an unincorporated Clark County island inside of Henderson city limits was destroyed late Thursday in a fire that smoldered well into Friday afternoon.

Deputy Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck said the county sent a 1,500-gallon tanker truck to help Henderson Fire crews douse the flames when they discovered the nearest fire hydrant was a mile away, and they would have to fill up there and then head back to the scene.

"Everywhere doesn't have our standard hydrants that are 500 feet apart, and 1,500 gallons per minute," Steinbeck said.

Steinbeck said most areas have ordinances in place regulating the space between hydrants in new developments, but this home was built in 1978 under different fire codes.

There were a few neighbors nearby, like Jeff Howerbush, who were also at risk of a devastating fire being so far from a hydrant.

"It kind of occurred to me, because I live right down the road, that I'm on well water here too," Howerbush said. "It kind of made me think about what happens something like that happens to your house, you know?"

Steinbeck said anyone who isn't near a fire hydrant has three options available to them to improve their chances in the event of a fire.

He said someone can pay to connect to the nearest water line and install a fire hydrant, but that can be costly.

Another option is to install a large water tank on their property with the correct attachments for fire hoses, or install a sprinkler system inside of their home.

"A sprinkler system is worth its weight in gold," Steinbeck said. "It's amazing."

He said nobody has died in a Clark County house fire where a sprinkler system had been properly installed to douse the flames.

No one was hurt in this fire. Loss is estimated at $1.2 million.