Trailer arsonist surrenders

By From page A1 | October 08, 2012

A man was arrested after allegedly admitting to setting fires in South Lake Tahoe Thursday night.

Police and fire personnel responded to a report of a structure fire at the trailer park at 885 James Ave. at 11:18 p.m., according to a police summary. Firefighters from Unit 41 immediately began extinguishing the flames while police officers assisted in evacuating neighboring trailers.

The resident, Geraldine McClure, was questioned. She said that she was awakened by heavy smoke but was able to get out before the fire reached the front door. She was unsure if her roommate, Eric Almdale, 37, was still inside the residence.

After putting the fire out, South Lake Tahoe Fire Department personnel determined that McClure had been the only person inside the trailer.

Shortly after, 911 dispatch received a call from Almdale. He said that he wanted to turned himself in, allegedly stating that he had started the fire. Police said he told officers that he intentionally started the fire because of family matters and matters concerning the owner of the trailer.

Almdale was subsequently arrested on charges of aggravated arson and burglary. As of Friday, he was being held in the South Lake Tahoe branch of the county jail on $1.05 million bail.

Cole Mayer

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