Threats made by man prompt arson investigation into duplex fire that displaced 3


    A threat made to a maintenance man shortly before a duplex fire has prompted an arson investigation near downtown.

    Arson Investigators are investigating the possibility that a fire was intentionally started early Saturday morning.

    No one was in the apartment where the fire occurred. Three occupants in the apartment next door were displaced because of smoke damage and are being helped by The American Red Cross.

    Firefighters were dispatched at 3:22 a.m. to the 300 block of N. 13th St.

    When firefighters arrived, flames and smoke were showing from one apartment of the one-story wood frame duplex. Firefighters had the blaze under control in less than 15 minutes.

    The fire started in an apartment where the occupant is moving out. All of their belonging were boxed for the move, and they were not in the apartment at the time of the fire.

    A maintenance man, told fire investigators he was getting the apartment ready Friday to rent out. He discovered that someone had cut a hole into the side of the apartment, and it was hidden so it would not be seen.

    As he was fixing it, a homeless person confronted him about fixing the hole and made threats. The maintenance man then called police. The homeless person left before police arrived.

    Just after 3 a.m. Saturday, witnesses told arson investigators that the man was back at the apartment and threw something through a window, then left. Shortly afterward the apartment was on fire.

    A damage estimate was not available, damage was severe.

    Firefighters from Clark County and North Las Vegas fire departments responded to the blaze because most of the downtown Las Vegas fire units were working a two-alarm vacant motel building fire at the same time just a few blocks away.

    There were no injuries during the incident.

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