Second person killed in Sandalwood Fire ID’d

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The identity of the second person killed in a deadly Oct. 10 fire that tore through a Calimesa mobile home park was confirmed Tuesday.

Hannah Labelle, 61, died when flames consumed her doublewide trailer in the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park at Sandalwood Drive and Seventh Street.

Riverside County coroner’s officials had been working to verify the victim’s identity since her remains were recovered hours after the “Sandalwood Fire” swept through the park.

The body of 89-year-old Lois Arvikson was identified immediately after the fire claimed her life.

The two women were unable to escape the wind-driven blaze that erupted about 2 p.m. on Oct. 10 when a dump truck driver released a burning load, which was whipped into dry brush by Santa Ana gusts exceeding 40 mph, according to authorities.

A joint county sheriff’s and fire department investigation is ongoing.

The Sandalwood fire destroyed 75 mobile homes and other structures, blackening 1,011 acres before it was stopped four days later just inside San Bernardino County.

Local and state emergency declarations were issued for Riverside County on Oct. 11, immediately after or during the “Sandalwood,” “Reche Canyon,” “Wolf” and “Eagle” fires.

The 350-acre Reche Canyon blaze prompted evacuations and road closures north of Moreno Valley. The fire, which remains under investigation, was contained two days later.

The 75-acre “Wolf Fire” briefly threatened properties four miles south of Banning, but that blaze was contained within a day. It was started by target shooters on private land along Wolfskill Truck Road, according to the fire department. The suspects have not been identified.

The “Eagle Fire” consumed nine acres before it was stopped in the area of Eagle Canyon and Cajalco roads southeast of Corona. The cause of that fire has not been determined.

Only the Sandalwood fire resulted in deaths and injuries.