Scam warning issued in wake of Reno fire

A senior adviser to Gov. Brian Sandoval said Monday residents whose homes were damaged in the Reno fire should be wary of anyone offering to do cheap and speedy repairs for cash.

Dale Erquiaga said they could be scam artists who will just take the money and disappear. He said the insurance division will check to make sure they are legitimate and a licensed contractor

Erquiaga said teams are now estimating the damage to homes as well as utility and public infrastructure caused by the southwest Reno fire that destroyed 32 homes Friday and Saturday.

The wind driven blaze consumed 1,900 acres in and around one of the more affluent areas of town.

Erquiaga said when those estimates are complete the total amount will be used to determine whether Nevada qualifies for a federal disaster declaration that could cover 75 percent of the cost of repairs reconstruction. But he said he believes those amounts would only be available for public costs, not rebuilding private homes. He said the remaining 25 percent would fall on Washoe County and the city of Reno, but that the $3 million in general fund cash could possibly help local governments with their share of the costs.

The fire started shortly after midnight Friday morning. Driven by winds gusting into the 70s, it roared through neighborhoods of expensive homes so quickly many residents had no time to escape with any more than the clothes on their backs.


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