Fire awareness program set for Incline Village residents

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (KOLO) - 16 people escaped from a burning home in Incline Village Sunday, February 4, 2018.

It was a vacation rental. Fire investigators say there were smoke detectors in the home, but not all of them were working.

“We did deal with some medical issues afterwards, but we were able to release them on scene and not transport them,” said Fire Marshall Mark Regan at the time of the fire.

While this scenario certainly could have ended worse, what you may not know is that fire investigators say there are more than 900 vacation rental homes in the area.

There is no way to know which homes have working smoke detectors, and who has extinguishers in their homes or other fire safety equipment in place.

And according to the county, there is no required pre-inspection of a property that is transformed into a vacation rental.

“We have the building codes, and so when someone comes in and they want to build a family residence they go through that process. We make sure that building meets all of those codes that are in place at the time as far as the building, the lifesaving codes go. As the use changes along the way, there is currently nothing in Washoe County codes that would require someone to say, “Hey I don't want to use this as a single-family residency any more; I want to rent it out,” says Dave Solaro, Washoe County Assistant Manager.

At the suggestion of the Incline Board of Realtors, the North Tahoe Fire Protection District will be sending out a flyer to all homeowners in Incline Village and Crystal Bay on how to make their homes fire-safe.

There will be suggestions such as smoke detectors and working batteries. The chief says there's not enough staff to inspect each home, so they are encouraging realtors to be their eyes and ears.

If they see something in the home that puts it and the renters at risk, they need to make suggestions or even take action.

Fire Chief Ryan Sommers says they will give the program 48 months. After that, they’ll see if the education program is a success.