Fire rips through apartment |

Fire rips through apartment

Fire destroyed most of a second floor of a duplex at the 700 block of Anita Drive.

Three South Lake Tahoe Fire engines responded around 5 p.m. Thursday to the scene and the blaze was extinguished by 5:15 p.m.

It’s unclear who reported the fire, but one witness said he saw a man run out of the building.

“This guy came out screaming it was on fire,” said Jamie Jamenez, 13, who lives in the building’s ground floor residence. “I opened the door and lots of smoke came out.”

Fire and police investigators could not locate the man at the scene.

The blaze developed somewhere in the kitchen and living room, but as yet its cause is undetermined, said South Lake Tahoe Fire Department Acting Battalion Chief Brad Jackson. Jackson estimated the damage to the building to be at least $100,000.

Two 21-year-olds, who live in the apartment, said they got back from golfing and found their house on fire.

“We rolled up and it was contained pretty much,” said Brian Escandon. “I’m worried about my guitar, snowboard and cash – everything else I can pretty much live without. It’s definitely a scary feeling though just waiting to see what’s left.”

Escandon said two friends were staying with he and his roommate, Nick Hopkins. He said one person had been staying for a while and was at work when the fire occurred, and the other had been visiting for a day or two.

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