RENO, Nev – Crews using search dogs Tuesday recovered the body of a 12th victim of a Halloween night fire at a residential hotel.
Authorities finished shoring up the shell of the 84-year-old Mizpah Hotel in the downtown casino district and were optimistic the recovery effort would be completed by Thursday, fire spokesman Steve Frady said.
"There is always the potential for additional victims to be found, but we're getting close to the end of that point," he said.
Six of the victims have been identified through fingerprints, acting coroner Steve Finnell said Monday. Each died of smoke inhalation, he said.
The other victims were removed from the north wing, where the roof collapsed onto the third floor and part of that floor fell onto the second story. They would have to be identified through dental records or DNA samples, Finnell said.
Police suspect Valerie Moore, a casino cook and paroled killer, started the blaze by igniting a mattress inside the residential hotel.
Moore, 47, was being held without bail on a parole violation while the investigation continues, District Attorney Richard Gammick said.
Besides the 12 deaths, at least 30 people were injured, three critically. Officials estimate 60 to 80 people were living at the $150-a-week residential hotel.