At around 6:10pm last night, South Lake Tahoe Police Officers and Fire Fighters responded to a residence in the 1100 block of Long Valley Avenue in response to a residential structure fire. Soon after their arrival, the residence was fully engulfed in flames. The fire spread to some nearby trees, but the Fire Department was able to keep the blaze contained to the area of the burning house. It appears the house is likely to be a total loss.
The residence has been vacant while repairs are being made to its interior, having sustained water damage as a result of burst pipes earlier in the season. When a home repair worker arrived at the residence earlier this week, he noted that gas valves to various appliances had been opened and he could smell natural gas. The Fire Department and Southwest Gas Company responded and made the property safe. Yesterday afternoon, police officers responded to the house in response to a report that forced entry had been made into the residence and it appeared that someone had slept there. No suspect in the forcible entry matter has yet been identified.
Shortly after 6:00pm last night, neighbors reported to 911 that the house was on fire. South Lake Tahoe Fire officials worked through most of the evening extinguishing the flames and then monitoring the site to ensure no potential flare-ups would jeopardize the community with extraordinarily dry forest conditions existing despite the rain and snow falling yesterday and throughout the night.
This morning, South Lake Tahoe Police Detectives are engaged in a criminal investigation and will be examining the scene with the assistance of arson investigators from the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, Lake Valley Fire Department and the Tahoe Douglas Fire Department.