BREAKING NEWS: Fire that killed South Shore man remains under investigation | TahoeDailyTribune.com

BREAKING NEWS: Fire that killed South Shore man remains under investigation

William Ferchland, Tribune staff writer

A house fire that killed a South Lake Tahoe man and his pet rabbit early Thursday morning is being investigated by authorities as arson although bad wiring could also be at fault.

Authorities say a gas can was found near the fire’s point of origin at the home, located at 861 Park Avenue. The matter is being investigated as an arson initiated murder, said South Lake Tahoe police Sgt. Brian Williams.

The identity of the dead man has not been released pending notification of family.

The fire started shortly after midnight with flames seen coming from the front porch area of the two-level home. The dead man’s body was found downstairs and a dead rabbit was found in a cage in a bathroom.

While the fire and police departments responded, witnesses tried unsuccessfully to rouse the home’s occupants, the officer said.

“It was horrible. All the neighbors were out. We were out here until 4 in the morning,” said Cher Eymann, a neighbor who witnessed the fire. “They had (three) fire trucks here. They had the street blocked off and we watched the house burn.”

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The flames spread quickly throughout the home. When police and fire personnel entered the house to conduct a safety sweep, they discovered the body of the male victim inside.

South Lake Tahoe Police are investigating the case with the assistance of the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department. The case is considered an arson investigation but authorities are also looking to determine whether poor wiring on the porch caused the fire.

Read Friday’s Tahoe Daily Tribune for more details.