Cooking grease is the likely cause of cabin fire |

Cooking grease is the likely cause of cabin fire

Jeff Munson
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / South Lake Tahoe firefighters respond to a structure fire on Aspen Avenue in South Lake Tahoe on Sunday morning.

A group of Bay Area friends staying at a cabin for the weekend watched the place burn Sunday morning when a fire started in the kitchen.

The cause was hot cooking grease that caught fire and rapidly spread smoke and flames through the entire house, according to South Lake Tahoe fire officials.

The cabin was damaged by heat and smoke making it close to a total loss, said fire captain Rick Myers. He estimated the value of the house, located at the corner of Wildwood and Aspen avenues, at about $300,000.

“All I heard was ‘fire, fire’ and then ‘get the hell out,'” said Nick Trindade of Hayward, who was staying at the cabin with eight friends and two large pit bulls. The Bay Area group had gathered in Tahoe to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

“I woke up and all I saw was smoke and heard people saying, ‘fire, fire,'” said Traci Cross of Antioch. Her friends told her the fire started when someone was cooking hash browns.

Occupants of the cabin said they didn’t know if there was a smoke detector in the house because they didn’t hear any kind of alarm.

No one was hurt in the blaze, called in at 9:55 a.m. Firefighters had it knocked down in about 10 minutes.

The blaze is a reminder to those who are cooking in the kitchen to be prepared in case of a fire, Myers said.

“While cooking you can’t leave the stove or oven unattended,” he said. “Whether it’s beans on the stove or frying with oil, when this stuff gets hot it goes fast.”

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