Fire forces evacuation of store |

Fire forces evacuation of store

Albertson’s shoppers were forced to evacuate the grocery store Sunday shortly before 5 p.m. when a fire above a doorway sent smoke and the smell of burning rubber into the store.

The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department quickly put out the blaze in front of a small crowd of evacuees gathered outside the store. Division Chief Merle Bowman said the fire was small, and the damage was confined to $500.

Bowman blamed the fire on decayed heat tape that exposed wiring to the weather. Bowman also said smoke and small flames became visible inside the store when the fire spread to nearby wooden fixtures.

According to an Albertson’s store manager, the incident lasted less than an hour.

“There was some loss with the store closed for 45 minutes,” the manager said. “Business is now back to normal.”

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