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Sheriff’s office identifies 2 killed in Tanglewood house fire

Keith Carls/KEYT

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has identified two people killed in a late night house fire near Orcutt.

According to Raquel Zick, the sheriff's public information officer, the two people killed were 66-year-old Maria Lopez and 56-year-old Alicia Lopez-Buenrostro. Both were from Santa Maria.

The deadly fire started sometime after 10:00 p.m. Sunday night inside a home along the 3300 block of Driftwood Drive in the Tanglewood neighborhood west of Orcutt.

Several people were inside the home at the time of the fire, most were able to get out in time.

But both Lopez and Lopez-Buenrostro could not escape the smoke and flames and were pronounced dead at the scene.

One person was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor burns.

Some firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

"First firefighters saw heavy fire and smoke showing from the residence, and there was a report of two people trapped in the residence, and firefighters pulled a hose line inside the house and began search and rescue operations in the residence looking for the victims," said Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. Captain Josh Cazier. "Santa Maria City Fire assisted Santa Barbara County Fire, we had two engines from Santa Maria City and six engines from Santa Barbara County."

Several hours later, after the fire was thought to be extinguished by firefighters, it roared back to life Monday morning.

Just after 7:00 a.m., thick, toxic smoke came pouring out of the back of the home and through the roof.

Santa Barbara County and Santa Maria City firefighters returned quickly to the scene and began getting water on the fire from inside while a chainsaw was used to cut holes into the roof of the house.

Within an hour it appeared the second fire was under control.

The entire Driftwood Drive house fire incident, including how the first and second fires started, remains under investigation.

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Keith Carls

Keith Carls is a reporter at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Keith, click here.

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