Tahoe City restaurants burn | SierraSun.com

Tahoe City restaurants burn

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra Sun Members of the Squaw Valley Fire Department help put oxygen tanks on each other's backs before going into Wednesday nights Mandarin Villa blaze in Tahoe City.

Staff reportsA two-story, lakefront restaurant building in Tahoe City caught fire on Thursday night, closing down a portion of North Lake Boulevard and seriously damaging the structure, according to the North Tahoe Fire Protection District.At approximately 7:20 p.m. customers and employees were evacuated from 120 Grove St., which houses Lakehouse Pizza, the Eggschange and Mandarin Villa.”(Lakehouse) staff did an incredible job of evacuating everyone,” said Julie Motamedi, whose family owns and manages the Grove Street complex.

Motamedi was dining at Christy Hill, across from the two restaurants, when she saw smoke rising out of the roof of Mandarin Villa.About 40 firefighters from the entire region responded to the fire, which was contained around 8 p.m. and finally put out before 1 a.m.The surrounding buildings were not damaged and no injuries were reported, said Ed Miller, public information officer with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District.Most of the damage appeared in the upstairs section and smoke and water damage was visible in the downstairs section that house Lakehouse Pizza and The Eggschange.

Officials have not come up with an estimate of the overall damage.”It’s our intent to get these people back up and running as soon as possible,” Motamedi said of the Mandarin and Lakehouse businesses.It was too early to tell Thursday if the building could be saved or if it had to be torn down, said Miller.The cause and location of the fire’s origin is still under investigation.

The fire is the second to destroy a North Tahoe restaurant in just over a week. On July 27, Kings Beach’s North End Restaurant, also the location of an apartment and bait and tackle store, was severely damaged due to a fire.Fire investigators believe an overloaded extension cord was the cause of the Kings Beach blaze.- The Tahoe World contributed to this report.