35 people displaced, rooms destroyed in Tahoe hotel fire | TahoeDailyTribune.com

35 people displaced, rooms destroyed in Tahoe hotel fire

Tribune staff report
A fire caused an estimated $2.5 million in damage to the Deerfield Lodge in South Lake Tahoe late Wednesday night. The fire destroyed at least six hotel rooms and five vehicles and displaced 35 guests. Two people were injured when they jumped off a balcony to escape.
Tom Lotshaw/Tahoe Daily Tribune |

A fire that broke out at the Deerfield Lodge in South Lake Tahoe destroyed or severely damaged at least six rooms and five vehicles and displaced 35 people late Wednesday night.

Nearly a third of the hotel was heavily damaged by the fire, and was charred black and still dripping water Thursday morning while investigators examined the scene for a cause.

Two people were seriously injured when they jumped off a second-story balcony to escape. They were taken to Barton Memorial Hospital for treatment, said Sallie Ross-Filgo, a spokeswoman for the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.

The fire was reported at the lodge, located on Ski Run Boulevard, at about 11:45 p.m.

“We are very grateful — let’s just say it could have been much worse. We’re lucky it stopped where it did and lucky all our guests are still with us,” hotel manager Ashley Bailey said.

Neighbors saw the fire and helped knock on doors to try to get people out, Bailey said.

“It went so fast,” Bailey said. “Everyone pulled together last night to make sure all the guests are OK and accounted for and to try to provide anything and everything they need. It’s extreme to be on vacation in a town and to lose everything. We just have to be there for them.”

The fire caused an estimated $2.5 million in damages to the Deerfield Lodge property. The fire was reported to be under control by about 2:35 a.m. Thursday morning.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, Lake Valley Fire Protection District, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District and Cal Fire responded to the scene with 10 fire engines, one fire truck and five ambulances, Ross-Filgo said.

The city of South Lake Tahoe arranged for people who were displaced by the fire to be bussed over to Lakeside Inn on Lake Tahoe Boulevard. That included 16 families.

“They were able to accept the whole group,” City Manager Nancy Kerry said. “One family of five from New Jersey lost everything they came with.”

Hotel guests had come from as far away as Amsterdam and Belgium.

The fire was extremely hot and intense and spread to nearby trees, with heat breaking out a window in a neighboring house. Crews were able to stop the fire from spreading to the front of the hotel, South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Jeff Meston said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Thursday afternoon.

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