On April 27, 2015 at approximately 7:27 a.m., the Montecito Fire Protection District responded to a structure fire at 127 Loureyro Road.
During the response, the body of an adult female was found deceased in the structure. The victim was identified as 88-year-old Lorraine Mathilda Schmerzler of Montecito.
Investigators from the Montecito Fire Protection District and the Santa Barbara County Arson Task force which includes investigators from Carpinteria / Summerland Fire, Santa Barbara County Fire and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office have determined that the origin of the fire was located in the family room/lanai.
All natural and suspicious fire causes have been ruled out. Through witness statements and evaluation of physical evidence, investigators believe that the cause of this fire was accidental.
Accidental causes such as cooking, smoking, candles, the fireplace and other heating and mechanical devices have been ruled out. A compromised table lamp power cord found in the area of origin showed evidence of arcing, which likely ignited surrounding combustibles.
Upon the conclusion of the District’s investigation, the scene was released to the executor of the estate and their insurance company for continued evaluation of the physical evidence.