Sheriff’s Office releases names of all who died in Redwood Fire

A somber announcement today as the names of five additional people who died in the fire were announced, most were elderly.

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MENDOCINO Co., 10/19/17 — The names of all who perished in the Redwood Fire, last week, were released today; a somber announcement that nonetheless brings some closure to a county beginning to rebuild after a week of disaster. However, though eight people died in the fire, there are no people missing at this time, and the area has been thoroughly searched — meaning that it is very unlikely that the death toll will rise.

All of the dead lived in Redwood Valley, and all of them died in the first few of hours the fire that witness say spread through the area with incredible speed. Indeed, many people who escaped describe being woken in the middle of the night, often by family or neighbors, only to flee minutes or seconds ahead of the fire. The people who did not make it, with the exception of Kai Shepherd, 14, were all either elderly, or had an elderly companion. It seems that with the fire coursing through Redwood Valley in the middle of the night, they simply could not get out fast enough.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) announced the complete list today, the names (apparently in the geographical order) are: A couple, Steve Bruce Stelter, 56, and Janet Kay Costanzo, 71, who lived in the 11300 block of West Rd.; Jane Gardiner, 83, and her caregiver, Elizabeth Charlene Foster, 64, who lived in the 12500 block of Tomki Rd.; and Margaret Stephenson, 86, who lived in the 12800 block of Tomki Rd.

The names of the three others who died in the fire were announced last week, they were: Kai Logan Shepherd, 14, of Redwood Valley, who died while attempting to escape the fire with his family; and a married couple Roy Howard Bowman,87, and Irma Elsie Bowman, 88, of Redwood Valley.

Redwood Fire: Three of the people who lost their lives identified

One note about identification, it seems that Assemblyman for the North Coast, Jim Wood, a practicing dentist, assisted in identifying some of the bodies through dental records.

We have also produced a map of the locations of the deceased. We created this map in an effort to better visualized how the fire swept through the community. The pins on the map are rough locations, reflecting the block numbers that the MCSO has provided. We do this in the hope that such information will help us better prepare for future disasters.

Here is the complete press release from the MCSO:

DATE:  October 19, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Incident Number:
Mendocino Lake Complex Fire

Crime/Incident:
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Office Release

Fatality Identifications

Location:
Redwood Valley, California

Date of Incident:
10-19-2017

Time:
10:30 AM

Victim(s):
Kai Logan Shepherd (14 year-old male from Redwood Valley, CA)

Roy Howard Bowman (87 year-old male from Redwood Valley, CA)

Irma Elsie Bowman (88 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA)

Steve Bruce Stelter (56 year-old male from Redwood Valley, CA)

Janet Kay Costanzo (71 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA)

Jane Gardiner (83 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA)

Elizabeth Charlene Foster (64 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA)

Margaret Stephenson (86 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA)

Suspect(s):
N/A

Written By:
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten

Synopsis:
On 10-13-2017 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division was able to identify three of the eight persons located thus far who died during the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire which started during the early morning hours of 10-09-2017.

The following persons have been identified:

1.  Kai Logan Shepherd (14 year-old male from Redwood Valley, CA) was found near his family residence in the 11300 block of West Road in Redwood Valley.  It appears he was attempting to evacuate the area on foot when he was overtaken by the fire.

2.  Roy Howard Bowman (87 year-old male from Redwood Valley, CA) was found in the burnt remains of his residence in the 4000 block of Fisher Lake Drive in Redwood Valley.  The residence was completely destroyed by the fire.

3.  Irma Elsie Bowman (88 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA) was found in the burnt remains of her residence in the 4000 block of Fisher Lake Drive in Redwood Valley.  The residence was completely destroyed by the fire.

Roy Howard Bowman and Irma Elsie Bowman were a married couple.

On 10-19-2017 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division was able to identity the remaining five persons who died during the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire which started during the early morning hours of 10-09-2017.

The identifications were made from dental records with the assistance of Doctor Jim Wood who is the District 2 California State Assembly-member.

The identifications made were as follows:

1.  Steve Bruce Stelter (56 year-old male from Redwood Valley, CA) was found near a vehicle outside his residence in the 11300 block of West Road in Redwood Valley.  It appeared he was preparing the vehicle to be used to evacuate the area when he was overtaken by the fire.  The residence was completely destroyed by the fire.

2.  Janet Kay Costanzo (71 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA) was found in the burnt remains of the residence she shared with her boyfriend, Steve Bruce Stelter, in the 11300 block of West Road in Redwood Valley.  The residence was completely destroyed by the fire.

3.  Jane Gardiner (83 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA) was found in the burnt remains of her residence she shared with her caregiver, Elizabeth Charlene Foster, in the 12500 block of Tomki Road in Redwood Valley.  The residence was completely destroyed by the fire.

4.  Elizabeth Charlene Foster (64 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA) was found in the burnt remains of the residence she shared with Jane Gardiner in the 12500 block of Tomki Road in Redwood Valley.  The residence was completely destroyed by the fire.

Jane Gardiner and Elizabeth Charlene Foster had telephoned Gardiner’s step-son on 10-09-2017 at approximately 0130 hours.  During the telephone conversation the step-son was told there was fire all around the residence and the pair were awaiting evacuation by the fire department.

5.  Margaret Stephenson (86 year-old female from Redwood Valley, CA) was found in the burnt remains of her residence in the 12800 block of Tomki Road in Redwood Valley.  It appeared she was evacuating through the residence’s garage when she was overtaken by the fire.  The residence was completely destroyed by the fire.

Approved by:
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten”

 

 

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