On October 31, 2006, a fire occurred in the Mizpah Hotel in Reno, NV, a residential hotel housing mainly low income people. At the time of the fire there were 85 occupants within the building. The fire spread rapidly in the corridor on the second floor of the building and then upward, preventing many occupants from promptly exiting the building. Several mattresses stored in the second floor corridor provided fuel for the fire as it grew in size. First arriving fire units were confronted with an acute situation, with occupants awaiting rescue at several windows and several more unaccounted for.
Twelve occupants died in the fire, and over 30 were injured. The building was destroyed and had to be demolished in the aftermath of the fire and investigation.
Investigators determined that the fire was deliberately set by a resident who ignited one of the mattresses in the corridor and left it against a dwelling room door in the second floor corridor. The suspect in the fire, a 47 year-old female was charged with twelve counts of murder and one count of first degree arson. She pled guilty to these counts in January, 2007 and was sentenced to multiple life sentences in March, 2007.