An autopsy in Rochester today is expected to confirm that the body discovered Wednesday in the burned rubble of the Castile municipal building is that of the owner of Lorraine’s Place, a popular diner that was part of the historic structure.
Lorraine Qutermous, 52, has not been in contact with anyone since finishing work at her North Main Street business Monday night.
Fire swept through the 140-year-old building shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday, heavily damaging the structure that contained municipal offices, the diner and several apartments.
The blaze started on the second floor. Two dozen fire departments were called to the scene.
A body was found shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday, Wyoming County sheriff’s officials said during an afternoon news conference.
Wyoming County Coroner Renee Hill took custody of the body, and the remains were taken to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy and identification.
According to a Lorraine’s Place page on Facebook, Qutermous opened the restaurant in 1998.
There are no photographs of her on the page, which includes 780 friends and a profile photo of a diner-baked pie.
The restaurant was described in a 2010 Buffalo News story as “just what a family diner should be – heavy on the charm rather than gourmet selections.”
It was described in that article as serving “good old stick-to-your-ribs food and great homemade pies,” and chicken barbecue on weekends.
Sheriff Farris S. Heimann said the historic building was partially demolished to make the structure safe so traffic could return to Route 39 and to restore electrical power that was lost to the immediate area during the fire.
Full demolition of the structure will be completed following the investigation into the cause, which has yet to be determined, the sheriff said at the news conference.
The Sheriff’s Office – with assistance from the County Emergency Management Office and state Office of Fire Prevention and Control – is handling the investigation.
Castile Town Supervisor Stephen Tarbell told The News the town and village offices destroyed in the blaze will temporarily be housed in the nearby Bank of Castile starting today.
Town Court and municipal meetings will be held in the village fire hall, next to the former municipal building.