Mother killed, father and child hospitalized after fire

NORTH LAS VEGAS - A family is devastated after an apartment fire claimed the life of a mother and left her husband and young daughter in the hospital.

The fire happened in the early morning hours of Thursday near Lake Mead and H Street in an apartment that did not appear to have a fire alarm, fire investigators said.

"This is ridiculous," said Belinda Ross, the victim's sister.

Family members embraced each other as they grieve the death of their loved one who they have identified as Diana Bankson, a mother of three.

"A good parent to her daughters. She just started working again, trying to get her life together for the kids. A tragedy just happened." Ross said. 

Bankson's young daughter and husband were badly injured in the fire. Family members identify the two as Kaysha and Andrew Ray.

They say the father needed surgery and remains in critical condition. The little girl suffered burns to 80 percent of her body and is on life support.

"She won't ever be the same again," said Phyllis Burns, victim's sister: "They need to tear these places down and that's all, before somebody else dies."

The couple's two oldest daughters escaped the flames with cuts to their bodies from crawling out of a broken window.

Meanwhile, the family said this is not the first time the apartment building has caught fire. While they believe electrical problems are to blame, fire investigators have not released the official cause.

"Thank god that all five people didn't die," Burns said.

"This building killed my sister, burned in a fire," Ross said.

The fire department did not find smoke alarms in the apartment.

"Whoever the owner of the building is, they are held accountable and they will be held accountable," Ross said."

The flames also spread to a unit next door, displacing a family of five.

The damage is estimated at $35,000.


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