RENO, Nev. (AP) – A woman set fire to a mattress and touched off a blaze that killed six people and gutted much of a historic brick building in Reno’s downtown casino district, authorities said Wednesday.

The woman was arrested on arson and murder charges in Tuesday night’s fire at the Mizpah Hotel, police said. It was the city’s deadliest blaze in more than 40 years.

About 30 people were injured, some of them after they leaped out the windows of the three-story building, which was primarily a residential hotel.

Firefighters said they did not know of anyone still missing in the fire, but they had yet to search some areas. The roof collapsed, and authorities said the building would have to be shored up.

Police Chief Michael Poehlman said Valerie Moore, 47, set fire to a mattress in her hotel room. Officials said they were trying to figure out why.

Police said 60 to 80 people were inside the 84-year-old, recently renovated hotel when the fire started. It quickly engulfed the north wing of the hotel, near Harrah’s casino. None of the downtown high-rise hotel-casinos were threatened.

Some residents jumped from the windows. Others were rescued by firefighters with ladders and city workers who were in the area with a cherry picker.

Third-floor resident John Hicks said he saw one person jump from a window and land on a metal trash bin.

“I lost my clothes, I lost everything. It spread so fast I could have died,” Hicks told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “The flames were getting into my room. I’m lucky to be alive.”

One hospital reported that two people were hospitalized in critical condition, and a third was flown to a burn center in California.

It was Reno’s deadliest fire since 1962, when six people died at the Golden Hotel, according to fire department spokesman Steve Frady.

He said the Mizpah had smoke alarms but not sprinklers, which was allowed by city code because of the building’s age.

The Mizpah was built in 1922 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Fire officials said they did not know whether the building could be saved.

“It was just gorgeous, and now it’s all gone,” said hotel general manager Sharon Steele. “It’s a brick building. I don’t know why it burned so fast.”

Associated Press writer Scott Sonner contributed to this report.

AP-ES-11-01-06 1553EST

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