Fire causes extensive damage |

Fire causes extensive damage

A structure fire that caused $60,000 worth of a damage forced the evacuation of a two-story four-plex in South Lake Tahoe on Saturday evening.

No one was hurt in the blaze that started at 5:23 p.m., with the exception of injuries received by a 4-foot snake owned by the occupant of the unit where the fire started, the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department reported Sunday.

Three engines and two ambulances responded to the fire at 940 Merced Ave., where the building is now deemed uninhabitable by the city because of smoke and water damage, Battalion Chief Merle Bowman said.

“They won’t be back for a while,” Bowman said.

The fire’s cause was unusual.

Apparently, the occupant placed a chair in front of the stove to reach a cabinet above the burners. When the occupant left, the chair bumped the on-off switch of one of the burners. The radiated heat caught the thin paneling behind the electric stove on fire.

An estimated $3,000 in contents was reported as a loss in the unit that was destroyed.

The property owner was notified, Bowman said.

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