One Dead, Two Others Injured in 3-alarm Fire - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

One Dead, Two Others Injured in 3-alarm Fire

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A three-alarm fire hospitalized three people and displaced more than 20 people Thursday night.

Sadly, one of the people injured in the blaze died Friday evening.

"It started in the garage," said Battalion Chief Mark Winkelman of the Reno Fire Department. "(It) spread to three units."

Around 9:30 p.m., crews rushed over to the apartment building on Manhattan Street (near 9th Street) in Reno. Five of the units were evacuated and more than 20 people got out safely, but three others received serious injuries.

58-year old Ronald Feemster and 28-year old Luke Mumui were flown to the UC-Davis Burn Center in the Sacramento area. Feemster died after receiving 3rd degree burns to 90 percent of his body. Mumui also received the same amount of 3rd degree burns. He's still in critical care at UC-Davis. After suffering minor burns and smoke inhalation, 36-year old Priscilla Endemann is out of intensive care at Renown Regional Medical Center.

Fire officials told Channel 2 News they're pretty sure of the exact cause of the fire.

"The investigation's ongoing," Battalion Chief Winkelman said. "But, we do know it's most likely caused by fuel vapors inside the garage."

He says the garage was open when the two men were working on a car. Fire officials believe they were cleaning car parts with gasoline, which can be common, but dangerous.

"A lot of people think because the door's open, the wind will clear that," Winkelman said. "However, in this case especially, the wind was blowing into the garage. So, that kept the vapors in, and it found an ignition source, which was most likely the water heater and caused a flash fire which ignited the whole garage and all the contents, including the people in the garage."

Reno Fire says you should be extra careful when you're working in the garage. Officials say to keep any flammable liquids closed in a safe container.

"You need to keep them closed in an approved container," Winkelman said. "You don't want those containers open, releasing vapors into the garage. The majority of people have a water heater and a furnace in the garage, and the vapors could find that ignition source and cause that fire."

Firefighters also urge everyone to not clean their car parts with gasoline.

"There's other products out there that are used for cleaning parts that would be a safer option in a closed area like that," Winkelman said.

The American Red Cross, Northern Nevada Chapter was also on scene to help those affected by the fire.

"The Red Cross responded within 10 minutes of receiving the call," said Clara Andriola, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross, Northern Nevada Chapter. "We were on scene with our Action Disaster Team Members to help stabilize the situation.

They were there to provide emergency services to those who were impacted by the fire.

"Since then, we have helped connect, if you will, our case workers with 26 individuals, providing emergency lodging, food, clothing and essentials," Andriola said.

The American Red Cross says they will continue to help out people who want it.

"Obviously, we care deeply about all of the families that have been impacted," Andriola said. "We're here to support whatever they need, and more importantly, our thoughts and hearts are with everyone that's been impacted."

The Red Cross is looking for your help when a disaster like this strikes.

If you'd like to help:
Call: (775) 856-1000

Meanwhile, fire officials told Channel 2 News on Friday afternoon that they were getting people living in two of the units back home.

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