Arsonist Sets Fire to Community Counseling Center

LAS VEGAS — Arsonists attacked the Community Counseling Center near Maryland and Sahara. The center has been the target of malicious threats and vandalism the last few weeks but administrators say the fire is the last straw.

Around 7 a.m. Sunday, a Metro officer patrolling around the area saw the smoke and called for help. When fire crews got to the scene, they found five offices and a group therapy room engulfed in flames. Holes were cut into the center’s roof and fire officials believe someone did it on purpose.

A rope was found on the roof and the center believes it was used by a homeless person to get up there and commit the crime. Incidents involving homeless people hanging around the area have intensified the last three weeks. The Executive Director found three of his tires slashed and the building’s power was shut off two separate times. The policy has always been to politely ask any homeless hanging around the area to leave.

The fire was put out within 30 minutes but there’s smoke and water damage throughout the center, which gives drug, alcohol and mental treatment to 300 people a week. Damages are estimated at nearly $150,000. The center is closed on Monday for the holidays but the staff says it will work around the clock to open as planned on Tuesday.

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