Henry Lawrence Pinc was discovered on the path outside the Alpine Motel Apartments, apparently overwhelmed by smoke while trying to support other residents flee Saturday’s blaze, his ex-wife stated on Wednesday.
Brenda Pinc stated on the phone from South St. Paul, Minnesota, that “It crushes my heart. He was supporting other people.”
70-year-old Pinc had been living at the downtown Las Vegas homes for almost eight years after relocating from Minnesota for Southern Nevada’s warm weather, and because he loved to play poker, she stated.
But Pinc’s daughter, Eva Evgen, stated in an email that her father relocated to Las Vegas about two decades ago after attending the city for bowling tournaments.
She wrote that “He bowled in the Amateur Bowlers Tour for as long as I can remember.”
The 70-year-old was one of six people who died on Saturday in the most destructive residential fire in the history of the City.
According to the Clark County coroner’s office, Tracy Ann Cihal, 57, 72-year-old Francis Lombardo Jr., 61-year-old Cynthia Mikell, Donald Keith Bennett, 63, and 66-year-old Kerry Baclaan also lost their lives in the fire. Thirteen people were injured, five of them are in critical condition.
Firefighters stated that the fire was started accidental or caused by a stove used to heat a flat. Still, Metro homicide investigators are investigating to know if there was criminal misconduct.
City Councilman Cedric Crear, who represents Ward 5, stated the building had records of code enforcement cases, but all had been fixed. Las Vegas Fire Marshal Robert Nolan noted that the department last visited the Alpine in May 2017 for a malfunctioning fire alarm that was set.
On Wednesday afternoon, a former Alpine tenant, Blanca Daner, placed flowers and candles at the entrance. Daner was a friend of Baclaan.
Brenda Pinc, who was married to Henry Lawrence Pinc for about a decade in the 1980s, stated that he knew the Alpine was not a secure place to live.
She said that “He spoke about calling me out but said, ‘You cannot stay here.’ It was a rugged building, and he understood that.”
The 70-year-old had fallen on hard times after running an air freight business in Minnesota and driving taxis, Brenda Pinc said. Henry Lawrence Pinc did not own a biked or a car in Las Vegas.
“He was always a hard worker,” she said. “We had nice vehicles and took the children camping.”
Brenda stated that Henry Pinc’s daughter, Evgen, lives in Minnesota. When she spoke with Evgen this week, Evgen informed her that she had Henry cremated and desired to cast his ashes in one of the Minnesota lakes he carried her to when she was young.
“Eva felt bad that she had not communicated with him in a few weeks,” Brenda Pinc stated.
Brenda Pinc remembered Henry Lawrence Pinc as an independent spirit.