Roof rake could help ease threat to homes burdened by heavy layers of snow

Tahoe firefighters say that the purchase and use of a roof rake might have saved a condo roof from collapsing under heavy snow last week.

Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District crews responded to a duplex near the Kingsbury Grade on Friday morning, where about 6 feet of snow caused the roof to collapse. Firefighters found that the heavy snow load caused extensive damage.

Nobody was home at the time of the roof collapse and no one was injured.

Tahoe Douglas Fire Marshal Eric Guevin said a telescoping roof rake, which costs about $80, can be used to remove the fluffiest of snow very easily. Snow that has been frozen or packed tight by rain and melting can be much more difficult to clear.

Guevin cautioned homeowners to find a safe place to stand on the ground when using the rake. He also urged people to be aware of power and utility lines that may be overhead.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews