Motel endures second blaze in a month |

Motel endures second blaze in a month

by Gregory Crofton

South Lake Lake Tahoe firefighters extinguished the second blaze to occur in a month Tuesday at Silver Shadows Lodge, a motel at the 1200 block of Emerald Bay Road.

“Electrical fire was the cause,” said Capt. Steve Taylor. “Apparently, wires inside started it and it burned the outside of the building. There was about $2,500 in damage.”

An employee reported he smelled smoke and saw flames coming from a motel’s office next door to his place of work.

Taylor said guests did not have to leave the motel and firefighters were able to contain the damage to the paneling of the owner’s office/house.

Earlier in the month, an attic fire forced renters out of about six of the motel’s rooms. After a preliminary investigation, Taylor said the Feb. 4 fire was caused when insulation got too close to the flue of a wall furnace. Further investigation, however, revealed a different flash point.

“(Both fires) were accidental,” Taylor said. “The first fire was caused by a short-circuited wire on a gas pipe. The wire damaged the pipe and caused it to leak natural gas into the attic.”

During the blaze, one guest, who had been carting possessions back and forth from her smoke-filled room to her car, had to be treated for smoke inhalation at Barton Memorial Hospital.

“It’s horrible, we don’t know why it happening,” said Jeannine Davis, Thursday. “It’s terrible, but we hoping it’s all going to work out for us.”

Davis said a section of the motel’s roof has to be replaced because of the attic fire, but the work on that can’t begin until snow season ends. Nine of the motel’s 18 rooms are open for business.

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