Unattended stove burns apartment | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Unattended stove burns apartment

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

An unattended stove burner on high heat caused nearly $10,000 in damages when a fire ripped through an apartment, fire officials said.

The apartment, located on the 2000 block of Jean Street, had an appliance unit consisting of an electric stove, sink and miniature refrigerator in a separate room.

The residents, who were moving at the time, must have unknowingly left a burner on, said Merle Bowman, division chief for South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.

The burner ignited surrounding combustibles. Thirteen firefighters, three fire engines, two ambulances and a command vehicle responded to the scene at 6:25 p.m. Friday.

Nobody was injured and the area was cleared at 7:52 p.m., Bowman said.

A smoke detector wasn’t heard.

“A smoke detector would have alerted people and probably would have saved a lot of damage,” he said.

The next morning, crews responded to what Bowman called the “cardinal sin of fire fighting.”

At 5:45 a.m., light smoke was seen coming from under the eves of the attic at the same apartment. Cellulose and wool fiber insulation started to burn again. Eight Firefighters responded and had the scene cleared at 7:38 a.m.

In all, 350 gallons of water was used, including 100 gallons on the return call.

“They made sure it was out,” Bowman said.


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