6 bodies recovered from burned Reno hotel; more victims possible

Friday, November 3rd 2006, 10:00 pm
By: News On 6

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ The bodies of six victims of an arson fire at a downtown casino-district hotel have been recovered, and crews searching the rubble could find more, officials said Friday night.

Three bodies were pulled Friday from an annex on the east side of the 84-year-old Mizpah Hotel, fire department spokesman Steve Frady said. Two others were found in the south portion of the historic building late Thursday.

``We haven't been into the most heavily damaged sections of the building,'' Frady said. ``Because two floors collapsed, we don't know what's in that debris.''

Another body, that of a man who jumped 30 feet from a second-floor window, was found earlier in the parking lot.

At least 30 people were injured, three critically, in Tuesday night's fire. Police said 60 to 80 people had been inside the 84-year-old, $150-a-week hotel, which mostly served boarders.

The roof collapsed onto at least a dozen rooms on the third floor, preventing searchers from fully examining the hotel until lower floors are shored up to prevent a collapse. A steady rain Friday afternoon further slowed the effort.

Investigators suspect Valerie Moore, a casino cook and paroled murderer who lived at the hotel, started the blaze by igniting a mattress. Moore, 47, was being held without bail on a parole violation while the investigation continues, said Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick, who did not know whether Moore had an attorney.