Second Person Now Confirmed Dead In Sandalwood Fire

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CALIMESA (CBSLA) — At least two people are now confirmed to have died in the Sandalwood Fire, which continues to burn in Calimesa in Riverside County.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department says it discovered a second body Friday evening at the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park, where several structures burned down.

The remains were discovered during a search of a burnt mobile home. The Riverside County Coroner’s Office is attempting to identify the body.

The first body discovered has been identified as Lois Arvikson, 89, of Calimesa.

CalFire peace officers said the cause of the fire was a trash truck that dumped a load of burning trash into vegetation. The site where the burning trash was dumped remained cordoned off with crime scene tape.

Arson and homicide investigators were on the scene and working to determine whether anyone would be held responsible for the death caused by the fire, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said.

The Sandalwood Fire was 25 percent contained as of Saturday morning, and has so far destroyed 76 structures, damaged 14 others, and burned 832 acres after breaking out at about 2 p.m. Thursday.