CASTILE – An autopsy Thursday continues to lead Wyoming County officials to believe that the owner of Lorraine’s Place perished in the Tuesday morning in the fire that heavily damaged her restaurant and adjoining Castile municipal building, Wyoming County Sheriff Farris Heimann and County Emergency Services Director Tony Santoro said.
Investigators, meanwhile, are seeking help in tracing the whereabouts of Lorraine Qutermous from late Monday until shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday, about the time the fire began.
The autopsy was performed Thursday morning at the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office in Rochester on the badly damaged remains pulled out of the basement rubble Wednesday morning in the wake of the fire. An official confirmation of the identity of the body and the cause of death await the results of further testing, authorities said.
Heimann asked that anyone with information about the last movements of Qutermous, 52, who lived in a second-floor apartment above Lorraine’s Place call the Sheriff’s Office at (585) 786-8989.
The sheriff said the cause of the fire still has not been determined and remains under investigation.
Two dozen fire companies with tankers were called into duty during the fire, which destroyed the historic structure at 55 N. Main St., built in 1882. Because Castile’s water system is being reconstructed, a limited water supply made battling the blaze more challenging. The building and diner were ordered demolished.
Town and village offices are now operating in the Bank of Castile across the street from the remains of the municipal building. Court sessions and municipal meetings are slated for the village fire hall.
Town Supervisor Stephen Tarbell told The Buffalo News Thursda night that both the town and village are operating under a state of emergency. This facilitates assistance from the state government and can be kept in place for up to 30 days, and renewed if warranted.
“We’re up and running,” Tarbell said, but a lot of government material remains in need of repair, so much of the business of the two governments is “being done by hand.”