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UPDATE: Family of Alpine Motel Apartments fire victim demanding answers

Posted at 6:18 AM, Dec 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 02:48:40-05

UPDATE DEC. 30: The family of Alpine Motel Apartments victim Cynthia Mikell has hired an attorney and is demanding answers. They claim that residents were forced to use their stoves in an attempt to keep warm because the building was not heated.

Las Vegas police say the fire at the Alpine Motel Apartments is an active and ongoing investigation between the department's homicide division as well as fire investigators from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.


UPDATE DEC. 24: Clark County has released the names of the 6 people who were killed in a fire over the weekend at Alpine Motel Apartments. They are:

Henry Lawrence Pinc, age 70, of Las Vegas
Tracy Ann Cihal, age 57, of Las Vegas
Francis Lombardo, Jr., age 72, of Las Vegas
Cynthia Mikell, age 61, of Las Vegas
Donald Keith Bennett, age 63, of Las Vegas
Kerry Baclaan, age 46, of Las Vegas

The cause and manner of death for the victims is pending. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg estimates the cause and manner will be determined within 6 to 8 weeks.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- A source close to the investigation into the deadly fire at a downtown apartment building is telling ABC News that the investigation is now a criminal probe.

Some residents of the Alpine Motel Apartments are telling the media and investigators that an exit door for the building was bolted shut, preventing residents from escaping.

Investigators with the police and fire departments are now working to figure out if the deaths of the people because of the fire was the result of criminal negligence. And if so, who is to blame.

RELATED: Video shows people escaping Alpine fire in downtown Las Vegas

The fire department believes that the fire was started by a stove that was being used to heat a unit. The fire itself has been called "accidental" by fire officials.

ABC News also learned that the building was cited for more than 70 fire code violations in 2017. However, there were no open fire code violations at the time of the fire.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department would only confirm on Monday to 13 Action News that they are involved in a "joint investigation" and refused to classify it as a criminal probe.

The fire at the Alpine Motel Apartments on Dec. 21 killed 6 people, injured 13, and left dozens of people without a home. 3 pets were also killed in the fire.

RELATED: Assistance center opening Monday for victims of deadly downtown fire

Those who were displaced are currently being helped by the American Red Cross and members of the community.

The City of Las Vegas is encourage people to donate to Nevada Community Foundation.

The Downtown Vegas Alliance has set up a GoFundMe account to support the victims.

RELATED: Alpine Motel tenants credit maintenance worker for saving lives

Also, The Mob Museum is accepting donations of immediate-need items. They include:

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Clothing - Men's, Women's, Boys and Girls sizes
  • Shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Toys (9 children are impacted)

The items collected from the Mob Museum and the funds donated to the GoFundMe account will be distributed to meet the immediate needs of the fire victims, who were left with virtually no possessions and no place to live after the entire building was deemed a total loss.

The Alliance is working with the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada and will convert the GoFundMe donations to gift cards that will be given, along with the new immediate-needs items, directly to the victims before the end of the month.

After this initial gift card distribution, funds will still be accepted through the GoFundMe account after December 27 and will be given to the fire victims to help with their ongoing needs as they settle into new, permanent housing.