LAKE TAHOE, Nev. — San Francisco-based Blue Sky Cleaners was one of the first fire-restoration companies to arrive on the scene following a devastating forest fire south of Lake Tahoe that destroyed more than 250 homes last month.
Sparked by an illegal campfire, the Angora wildfire started June 24 and scorched more than 3,100 acres in the South Lake Tahoe area before being contained more than a week later. The area was already at high risk for forest fires due to high temperatures and drought conditions.
Blue Sky arrived in Lake Tahoe June 30 to assist insurance policyholders with fire-restoration services. The liquid carbon dioxide operation began restoring clothing and other fabric goods within 16 hours of assessing the damages.
“We literally had people flagging us down on the streets for help,” says Blue Sky owner Frank Shaghafi, who drove one of several company vans from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe to assist in the effort. “Many people had no clean clothes to wear, and it was our job to return clean garments to them as quickly as possible.”
Blue Sky says its representatives will remain in Lake Tahoe for several weeks to complete restoration of fire- and smoke-damaged clothing and furnishings from dozens of homes. A member of America’s Best Cleaners (ABC), a marketing consortium of high-end operators, Blue Sky specializes in restoration work.