Zephyr Heights home burns down
A vacant multi-level Zephyr Heights home was destroyed in a fire that sent flames more than 100 feet into the air late Sunday night.
Firefighters responded to the home at 633 Lookout Drive at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
When they arrived at the home, the house was enveloped in flame, forcing firefighters to focus on keeping the fire from spreading to surrounding forest, said Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Dave Hekhuis.
Recent rains and the lack of any wind helped firefighters knock down the bulk of the blaze in about 30 minutes, Hekhuis said. Several Tahoe Douglas firefighters continued to douse the smoldering remnants of the home on Monday morning.
Firefighters from South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, East Fork Fire District and CalFire responded to help douse the fire, Hekhuis said.
The fire’s intense heat rippled windows and melted weather stripping at a house across the street from the fire, the cause of which is under investigation, Hekhuis said.
Mavis Hemsley, the co-owner of a home near the burnt house, said she and some friends were up late and saw an orange glow coming through her home’s balcony window. The glow was soon followed by a “whooshing” noise and the sound of trees exploding from the intense heat of the blaze.
“I have never seen anything like that,” Hemsley said. “It really makes you realize everything can change in a split second.”
According to the Douglas County Assessor’s Office, the 1,725 square foot home at 633 Lookout was purchased by Bruce and Debra George of Tracy, Calif., in 2003.