Fire hits Carson sheriff’s office: More than $50,000 in damage caused by heater and cardboard |

Fire hits Carson sheriff’s office: More than $50,000 in damage caused by heater and cardboard

Jarid Shipley
Brad Horn / Nevada Appeal / Carson City fire department investigator Duane Lemons, center, looks through the detectives' unit at the Carson City Sheriff's office after a fire on Saturday afternoon. The message light on the phone, seen melted in the right lower corner of the photo, was blinking.

CARSON CITY – A piece of cardboard left near a radiant heater started a fire in the capital city sheriff’s department offices Saturday afternoon that caused an estimated $50,000 in damage.

After the fire was extinguished, the main concern became where to house the five-detective unit until the building’s scheduled demolition next summer.

The fire started at approximately 1:30 p.m. under a desk used by volunteers and interns in the detective area near the back of the building located at 901 East Musser Street.

According to fire investigator Duane Lemons, a piece of cardboard was placed on a radiant heater and then covered with a trash can. The heater kicked on and ignited the cardboard.

While the fire was contained to the area surrounding the desk, smoke caused substantial damage, blackening the walls and damaging computer equipment. The message light on the desk’s melted phone continued to blink.

At least $50,000 would be necessary to make the room usable again, according to initial estimates.

“No investigative property or evidence being used for investigations was lost, but the room is obviously unusable,” said Sheriff Kenny Furlong.

Because the building is scheduled for demolition next summer, Furlong said the concern now is how to keep the department operating while spending the least amount of money possible.

“It is senseless for the city to pay a $100,000 insurance deductible to repair it at this point,” Furlong said. “What we are essentially looking at is a 12-month patch.”

One option being considered is moving the detectives temporarily into the area formerly occupied by the SWAT team, in the lower level of the building.

“The biggest problem will be communications and data information,” Furlong said. “We want to get them relocated and keep the operation going as efficiently that we can.”

Another problem is the ventilation system, which is designed to recirculate air throughout the building and caused the smell of smoke to reach areas otherwise unaffected by the fire.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.