Artist Peter Darvas, who suffered third-degree burns to his face and hands during the Sept. 18 fire that destroyed his house on Pioneer Trail, could leave the hospital today, according to an email released by friend Robert Schimmel.
According to Lynn Woodward, a member of the Tahoe Art League and a friend of Darvas, Schimmel sent an email to the art community in the basin after visiting Darvas in the hospital on Wednesday.
The email asked friends and Art League members to refrain from calling Darvas in the hospital since the watercolor artist is still suffering from damage to his throat and eyes and can't communicate well. Darvas was in his home when the fire started and later tried to put out the flames with a garden hose, according to Lake Valley Fire Protection District Chief Gareth Harris.
Woodward said she doesn't know where Darvas will stay now that his seasonal home at 3120 Pioneer Trail is destroyed, but the art community is there to help him.
"He's very active and he's a very good artist. We'll support him, but we don't know what to do at this point," Woodward said.
Tahoe Art League President Juanita Brock said the league is starting a collection for Darvas to help him resupply the studio that was decimated on Tuesday. There will be a bin at the art center located at 3062 Lake Tahoe Blvd. where people can donate art supplies. Paints and brushes are especially welcome, Brock said. In addition to all his supplies, Brock is confident that some paintings were also lost, but said she doesn't know the full extent of the damage.
The cause and origin of the fire are still under investigation, Harris said.
The fire, which started a few minutes before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, destroyed both Darvas' house as well as the neighboring structure. According to a South Lake Tahoe Fire Department press release, more than 80 firefighters and 26 law enforcement personnel from multiple agencies responded to the scene that night and were able to contain the fire less than an hour after it started.