A 47-year-old woman was arrested today in connection with a house fire that destroyed a home in north Las Vegas last week. The woman, who is believed to have been squatting in the abandoned home, was detained on charges of trespassing and nuisance. No criminal arson charges have been filed yet, but an investigation is ongoing.
With the highest foreclosure rate in the country, Nevada — and especially Clark County — has more than its share of abandoned homes and commercial properties. These buildings are common targets for pranksters, vandals, and transient individuals looking for a place to stay. Although abandoned, these edifices still belong to someone, whether a displaced homeowner, an absentee landlord, or a financial institution such as a bank. Whatever entity holds the deed to the property has a strong interest in seeing that it is maintained in good condition, and they certainly prefer not to see these buildings damaged by mischief or malice.
Depending on the circumstances, a Nevada fire accident in an abandoned residence could leave one or both parties liable for damages. If it is determined that the property owner or steward did not act with appropriate care and a person — sometimes even an unauthorized party — is hurt while inside the building, the owner could face Nevada property liability issues. On the other hand, if a property owner’s financial interests are harmed by a trespassing individual, the owner may be able to pursue a civil judgment against the intruder even in the absence of criminal charges.
If you or a loved one have been harmed in a Nevada fire or explosion accident, you need to seek experienced legal advice as soon as possible. If your family has escaped injury but you are dealing with issues of property liability or civil matters, our attorneys can also help you understand your rights and responsibilities. Contact us today for a free consultation in one of our two Clark County personal injury law offices.