LAS VEGAS (AP) — Newly released audio recordings of 911 calls about a Las Vegas apartment complex fire last month that killed six people reveal the horror that residents faced as flames tore through the building and people hung outside second- and third-floor windows.
Details of the recordings obtained by the Las Vegas-Review Journal newspaper and published Thursday also show that the first firefighters got to the aging Alpine Motel Apartments four minutes after the first 911 call.
The first 911 caller told a fire department dispatcher “Oh, I can't breathe,” and a voice was heard in the background of the call yelling “Get out, get out!.”
One firefighter reported that “we have occupants hanging from what I believe the second or third story” of the building, the audio recordings said.
Thirteen people were injured in the fire, five critically, including a pregnant woman who fell two stories trying to escape, the newspaper reported.
Fire department officials were still trying to contact the owner of the downtown 41-unit apartment building three hours after the blaze started, the recordings said.
Residents had complained about substandard conditions. They told firefighters they used kitchen stoves to stay warm because the building lacked heat.
City fire and code enforcement reports released this month listed defects in the building's fire alarm system, fire doors that did not close properly and security bars that lacked emergency releases.