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Apartment building fire on Veterans Pkwy. under investigation

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 4:14 AM PDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 12:17 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Reno Fire Department is investigating an early-morning fire on Veterans Parkway that destroyed two-thirds of a newly built apartment complex.

Crews responded to the Espirit Townhomes apartment complex at 3:18 a.m. Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Officials said the complex was still under construction with some units nearly ready for move-in.

Several fire agencies assisted including Sparks, Carson City, Truckee Meadows, as well as local law enforcement including Reno Police and Nevada Highway Patrol.

John McNamara with the Reno Fire Department said, “We upgraded to a fourth alarm fire. We ended up with 14 engines, 4 ladder truck and a squad.”

A total of 17 Fire Engines, four Ladder Trucks, two Rescue Units and five Chiefs responded.

McNamara said the embers were a concern. “We had a spread of the vegetation. We were able to knock that down and keep it confined to this structure.” He said at one point crews used their own resources.

“We tapped out the water supply extremely quick. We tapped the water source for this area, we could not get any more pressure.” He continued, “we used what we had and that was it. We had to alter some of our tactics to just account for the fact that there’s not a lot of hydrants close by.”

A woman and her son drove in from California to visit family at a nearby apartment complex. Dawn Semeria said she waited on the side of the road as crews battled the flames. “Well it was across the street, I called her, and my niece was running around, scared, but she said the electricity is out and its been out for quite awhile.”

Nearby homes were evacuated to the Sierra Summit Mall as a precaution while crews worked to get the flames under control. NV Energy cut off power and gas in the area.

No injuries were reported.

Geiger Grade near Veterans Parkway was closed while crews worked to put the fire out. It reopened several hours later.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. If anyone has any information, please call the Reno Fire Department at 775-334-2300 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.

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