Pre-dawn fire destroys Kings Beach residence
August 28, 2007
A structure fire Tuesday morning destroyed a single-family residence off Brassie Avenue, adjacent to the Old Brockway Golf Course in Kings Beach.
The fire consumed the 1,800-square-foot structure, charred a neighboring residence and torched surrounding trees, creating burning embers, said Fire Chief Duane Whitelaw.
“There was a home immediately adjacent that had some charring,” Whitelaw said. “But that home and the rest of the homes in the subdivision were spared.”
North Tahoe Fire Capt. Rick Russ said the fire threatened neighboring homes but firefighting efforts saved the residence next door.
“Given another couple of minutes, we would have been in big trouble with the second house,” Russ said.
No injuries were reported at the scene.
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The North Tahoe Fire District responded to the fire at approximately 1:30 a.m. with three engines and an ambulance, said Fire Chief Duane Whitelaw. Mutual aid from North Lake Tahoe Fire, Northstar Fire and Calfire came to the scene.
Residents awoke to the sounds of sirens and local children pounding on doors telling residents to evacuate, said Debbie Moore, who lives on Brassie Avenue.
“It’s our worse nightmare,” Moore said. “I was hosing down my house. (The flames) were all the way up (the tall trees), you could see the sparks going into the air.”
Crews contained the fire to the home of origin approximately 30 minutes into the incident, Whitelaw said. Fire crews remained at the site for several hours afterward, conducting mop-up procedures and controlling embers.
One person occupied the destroyed home at the time of the fire, Whitelaw said.
Neighbors reported the emergency to dispatch.
“The quick response can be attributed to the early notification by the neighbors,” Whitelaw said.
Officials expect an ongoing investigation to yield information about the fire’s cause within the next 24 hours, Whitelaw said Tuesday afternoon.
“Residents need to be especially careful at this time of the year because of the high fire danger,” Whitelaw said. “Homes can get started and going very quickly, so everyone needs to be cautious when it comes to fire.”
Fire crews hooked up to the North Tahoe Public Utility District water system, Whitelaw said.
“We view that water system as being excellent and [it] helped contribute to the quick control of the fire,” the North Tahoe chief said.
Power lines and gas appliances were damaged in the fire.