Fire breaks at former stateline hotel |

Fire breaks at former stateline hotel

Adam Jensen
Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily TribuneFirefighters climb down from the roof of the building formerly occupied by The Block hotel Friday afternoon.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif – Investigators believe heat tape was the cause of a Friday afternoon fire that broke out at the building formerly occupied by The Block hotel.

Dispatchers received reports of the fire at the building, located at 4134 Cedar Ave, about 1 p.m.

Personnel from South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District arrived on scene and were able to quickly put out the flames.

The hotel has been closed since 2008. Fire Chief Brian Uhler said it’s clear the building, as well as the neighboring Cedar Lodge, have become a public nuisance because of the transient population they attract and their lack of upkeep.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Marshal Ray Zachau said he has been in contact with the lending companies that own the properties in an attempt to have them donated for training purposes, but has been unsuccessful.

He said the fire department typically responds to several heat tape-related fires per year. When the tape, used for melting snow in the winter, is left on during the summer, pine needles build up on the tape and cause resistance heating, Zachau said. The build-up of heat can then lead to a fire, Zachau said.

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