Squatters Contribute to House Fire in Stead - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Squatters Contribute to House Fire in Stead

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One person was arrested Wednesday after a house fire in Stead. 

An off-duty firefighter spotted the blaze on the 12000 block of Kernite Street at around 7:30 p.m. The home is owned by the bank, however police say there were squatters in the home who had been living there for six to eight months.

Investigators say the fire started in the chimney, and spread to the interior of the home. Crews were able to knock down the blaze before it reached the attic.

The fire was partly caused by the poor condition of the fireplace and flue pipe. They say, the pipe had heavy build up of creosote and the fireplace brick and mortar had cracks which allowed the fire to spread.

There were no injuries and police say all but one occupant fled the home. That person was arrested when police found a stolen car in the garage. 

Reno Code Enforcement says they will work with the Reno Police Department and Reno Fire Prevention Bureau to secure the house and post "Unlawful to Occupy" notices to prevent future squatters. 

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