RENO, Nev – Investigators were continuing the search for bodies at the downtown hotel that was the site of the city's deadliest fire ever.
Nine bodies had been recovered — three more on Saturday — from the Mizpah hotel, an 84-year-old Reno landmark that caught fire Tuesday in what police say was arson.
"There's still a potential to find more (bodies) because we haven't completed the search of that north section," Fire Department spokesman Steve Frady said Saturday. He said hazardous conditions had prevented investigators from searching the section.
Saturday's discovery of the three bodies made it the deadliest fire in Reno history, state Archivist Guy Rocha said. The previous deadliest fires — a 1962 blaze at the Golden Hotel and 1879's "Great Fire of Reno" — each claimed six lives, he said.
Nevada's deadliest fire remains the November 1980 blaze that killed 84 people and injured nearly 700 others at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
Police arrested a casino cook and paroled murderer, Valerie Moore, who they suspect 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.
The owners of some shops in the brick building were allowed, under police escort, to retrieve business records and computers on Saturday, Frady said. They reported mostly smoke and water damage.
At least 30 people were injured in the fire, three critically. Police said 60 to 80 people had been inside the $150-a-week hotel, which mostly served boarders.
The recently renovated Mizpah was built in 1922 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.