Fire officials are investigating whether a possible explosion and blaze that destroyed a prominent defense lawyer's home was an accident or arson.
The fire with flames up to 20-feet high ripped through Lori
London's home late Tuesday while she and her two children were
spending time in Santa Cruz.
Fire investigators Garreth Harris, with Lake Valley, and Ray
Zachau, from the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, were looking
into the origin and cause of the fire, first reported shortly
before 8 p.m.
Witnesses reported hearing an explosion come from the house,
said Sgt. Steve Fleischmann of the El Dorado County Sheriff's
Department. Because of that, the incident was being evaluated as a
possible crime scene, Fleischmann told The (South Lake) Tahoe Daily
London is a familiar face in the El Dorado County Superior Court
system from her work in criminal, juvenile and family law matters.
She recently represented accused attempted murderer Steven
Wasserman and was the campaign manager for Lou Pierini's
unsuccessful run at El Dorado County supervisor. Pierini is her
Lake Valley Fire Protection District firefighters battled the
blaze with help from surrounding agencies, including Tahoe-Douglas
Fire Protection District. Jeff Michael, chief of Lake Valley, said
the extra help was needed because of the size of the fire and fears
that it could have spread to neighboring trees and residences.
Stopping the fire proved difficult since it kept reigniting.
Michael said it took nearly 30 minutes for roughly 25 firefighters
to put the fire out. Water gushed down the sloped driveway. The
two-story house was ruined.
"This is a foundation at best," Michael said. "There is
Michael said there was little if any evidence of an explosion,
such as shards of window glass found outside.