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Six killed, 13 injured in Las Vegas flats fire

The blaze was possibly the deadliest in the Las Vegas area since 1980.

Firefighters at the scene in Las Vegas (Las Vegas Fire Department via AP)
Firefighters at the scene in Las Vegas (Las Vegas Fire Department via AP)

By Michelle L Price, Paul Davenport and Marc Levy, Associated Press

Six people have died in a fire at a Las Vegas apartment building where residents had reported using their stoves for heat.

Investigators said the fire started around a stove in a first-floor flat, adding residents had told them there was no heating in the building.

Firefighters arriving at the scene began treating those injured and using ladders to rescue people jumping or hanging from windows.

“The first thing that you think of is: we’ve got to rescue those people. A fall of 16 feet or higher can be fatal,” fire department spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

Thirteen people were injured, mostly from smoke inhalation, but victims also had fractures, Mr Szymanski said.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that a pregnant woman in her first trimester fell after her hands slipped on a rope of bed sheets while descending from her third-floor apartment, leaving her with multiple fractures.

Her husband told the newspaper that medical personnel had told him the foetus’ heartbeat appeared strong.

Three people were found dead in the apartment where the fire started, Mr Szymanski said.

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Las Vegas firefighters at the scene (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

It was not immediately clear if anyone died after falling or jumping from windows. No firefighters were injured.

The cause of the fire appeared to be accidental, and the fire was largely contained to the first-floor flat where it started in the stove area, Mr Szymanski said. Firefighters found the burners on, he added.

The fire was possibly the deadliest in the Las Vegas area since 1980, when 87 people died and more than 700 were injured in a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel.

PA

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