Suspicious house fire under investigation
South Lake Tahoe is investigating a suspicious house fire that broke out on the 1100 block of Long Valley Avenue on Wednesday.
The fire was reported at about 6:10 p.m. Police and firefighters arrived to find the home fully engulfed in flames. The fire spread to some nearby trees, but not to other properties.
The house appears to be a total loss, according to a city news release.
The house was vacant while being repaired after sustaining damage earlier this winter from burst water pipes.
A home repair worker arrived at the home earlier this week. He reported a smell of natural gas and finding that gas valves to various appliances had been opened.
The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and Southwest Gas Co. responded and made the property safe, the release stated.
Wednesday afternoon, police responded to the house after receiving a report that someone had forced their way into the home and apparently slept inside.
No suspect in the forcible entry has been identified, according to the city.
Firefighters worked through most of the evening to extinguish the flames and monitor the site to ensure that no flare-ups would jeopardize the community, with extraordinarily dry conditions.
The incident is being investigated by South Lake Tahoe police and fire departments, Lake Valley Fire Department and Tahoe Douglas Fire Department.