One person was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital with burns and two houses were destroyed during a fire at the corner of Pioneer Trail and April Drive Tuesday evening.
Nearby homes were evacuated after police and fire personnel responded to the fire around 5:55 p.m.
South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Brian Uhler credited a quick response from firefighters for preventing the fire from spreading to additional homes and the surrounding forest. He described both houses as "total losses" Tuesday evening. The fire was mostly extinguished by about 7 p.m., Uhler said.
Eye witness Clayton Cole, whose parents own the house across the street from the structure where the fire started, said the house went up in flames within about three minutes. It spread from the house to a tall tree across the street and the adjacent building.
"When we first saw it it was just brown smoke and the fire alarm was going off and people were running around. Then the flames broke through the roof and there were 30-foot flames all over the front of the house," Cole said.
Cole and his girlfriend both said they saw someone run from the house when the fire started and leave the property quickly in a van.
Firefighters from South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, Lake Valley Fire Protection District, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District and Fallen Leaf Fire Department responded to the blaze, Uhler said.
Due to the amount of embers that were blown into the air during the fire, at least one fire engine was dispatched to patrol surrounding neighborhoods in search of starts. Police Officer Aaron Crawford said as long as the wind stayed down, he didn't anticipate more starts.
The condition of the burn victim and how many homes were evacuated was unknown Tuesday night. A police officer also suffered minor burns during the incident but did not need medical treatment, according to scanner traffic.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.