Blaze destroys Zephyr Heights home |

Blaze destroys Zephyr Heights home

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Flames more than 100 feet high devoured an unoccupied multi-level home in Lake Tahoe’s steep and narrow Zephyr Heights neighborhood on Sunday night.

At about 11:30 p.m., dispatchers received a report of a blaze in the 600 block of Lookout Drive, said Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Dave Hekhuis.

Firefighters concentrated on preventing the fire from spreading to nearby homes and forest after they arrived minutes later and found the home fully engulfed, Hekhuis said.

Recent rains and the lack of any wind helped firefighters knock down the bulk of the blaze in about 30 minutes, Hekhuis said. Several Tahoe Douglas firefighters continued to douse the smoldering remnants of the home on Monday morning.

Firefighters from South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, East Fork Fire District and CalFire responded to help douse the fire, Hekhuis said.

The fire’s intense heat rippled windows and melted weather stripping at a house across the street from the fire, the cause of which is under investigation, Hekhuis said.

Mavis Hemsley, the co-owner of a home near the burnt house, said she and some friends were up late and saw an orange glow coming through her home’s balcony window.

The glow was soon followed by a “whooshing” noise and the sound of trees exploding from the intense heat of the blaze.

“I have never seen anything like that,” Hemsley said. “It really makes you realize everything can change in a split second.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User