Las Vegas police and the state Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating an attempted arson that took place early Saturday morning at the municipal courthouse on Grand Avenue.
A man who lives across from municipal court called 911 early Saturday morning after noticing flames across the street, according to the incident report filed in the case.
A city police officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Grand Avenue at 1:51 a.m. Saturday in reference to the possible structure fire. When the officer got there, he saw smoke and flames at the rear door to municipal court. The door faces Fourth Street.
“As I walked up to the door I could smell an odor known to me as gasoline,” the responding officer wrote in his report.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread. While the municipal court door was damaged, along with glass windows near the door, the officer found no damage to the inside of the building.
The stone structure also houses the Las Vegas Museum & Rough Riders Memorial Collection.
Police found a Mason jar on the ground next to the courthouse steps. The officer also found the cap to the mason jar on the opposite side of the steps near a trash container. Both items were taken as evidence.
The neighbor who called 911 told police that he had arrived at his home shortly before the fire started and didn’t notice anything suspicious. He said a short time later, he noticed the flames, ran out of his house and called 911. The man told police he initially thought it was an electrical fire and didn’t want to get close to the building.
Damage estimates were unavailable due to the historical value of the structure, the incident report states.