Two women from Santa Maria were identified as the victims of a house fire on Monday as investigators continue to work to determine the cause of the deadly blaze.
Sunday evening, the staff of Santa Barbara County Fire and of the sheriff departments with the Santa Maria Fire Department were dispatched at 10:20 p.m. to 3300 block of Driftwood Drive in the Tanglewood neighborhood west of Santa Maria.
The sheriff’s office coroner’s office revealed on Monday that the women killed were Maria Lopez, 66, and Alicia Lopez-Buenrostro, 56.
They were found in a room and pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
A man at the home, whose name has not been released, was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of burns and injuries from smoke inhalation.
The single-story house was burnt down when the first crews arrived and it took firefighters about 20 minutes to put out the blaze, according to the county fire department.
Firefighters were on site for several hours to clean up and overhaul.
The intense flames were blamed on a fairly large fire load at the residence which apparently housed 13 people. Fire department personnel said the house had “excessive contents” inside.
On Monday morning, the fire ignited again after part of the attic collapsed, but was extinguished by crews, firefighter captain Daniel Bertucelli said.
A pile of charred items lie on the lawn of a Tanglewood home after a fire Sunday night that killed two women, injured a man and left several people homeless. (Photo by Janene Scully / Noozhawk)
Investigators were struggling to determine the cause of the fire, a process that could take some time.
On Monday afternoon, neighbors were keeping a close watch on the house due to concerns about looters.
Others who live in the community of Tanglewood have come together to collect clothing and other belongings for the displaced residents, which are said to include at least two families who have young children.
The Santa Maria Valley has already seen fatal fires around Christmas.
In 1999, two young brothers, aged 10 and 12, died when a fire broke out on Christmas night in an apartment on the 300 block of South Elizabeth Street. Their parents, a younger sister and a cousin escaped the fire.