Weeks after the Sandalwood Fire devastated a Riverside County mobile home park, authorities on Tuesday identified a second person killed in the 1,000-acre blaze.
Hannah Labelle, 61, was apparently inside her home when the wildfire broke out on Oct. 10 and exploded to 500 acres within just two hours, tearing through the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park as 90 structures went up in flames.
Inside two homes that were burned to the ground, authorities discovered the remains of Labelle and another woman killed, 89-year-old Lois Arvickson, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Labelle’s remains were found a day after the wildfire started, authorities said.
Neighbors and relatives identified Arvickson as a victim shortly after the fire broke out, and authorities soon confirmed her name. It was not immediately clear why it took more than two weeks for Labelle to be identified.
One of Arvickson’s neighbors, Vance Wooten, said the flames consumed her home in a matter of minutes. He was planning on going back to help her get her car out but first went to help another one of their neighbors who has an oxygen tank, he said.
“While I was running to get Mary Lou and her oxygen tank, she went back into the house, and after I got Mary Lou in the car and got her ready, I went back to check on Lois and the whole house and garage was on fire,” he said.
The wildfire led to the evacuation of more than 500 homes and burned over 1,000 acres before it was fully contained Oct. 14.