UKIAH (CBS SF) — As the flames closed in on Jane Gardiner’s Redwood Valley home early the morning of Oct. 9th, she called her step-son to tell him the fire had surrounded her house and she and her friend — Elizabeth Foster — were waiting for the fire department to rescue them.
The rescue never arrived, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department.
The 83-year-old Gardiner and the 64-year-old Foster were two of the eight Mendocino wildfire victims whose identities were released by the coroner’s office on Thursday.
The remains of the two women were discovered inside their completely burned residence on Tomki Road.
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The other victims were:
- Kai Logan Shepherd, a 14-year-old from Redwood Valley, was found near his family residence. Officials said it appeared he was attempting to evacuate the area on foot when he was overtaken by the fire.
- Roy Howard Bowman, an 87-year-old from Redwood Valley, and his 88-year-old wife — Irma Elsie Bowman — were found in the burnt remains of their residence on Fisher Lake Drive.
- Steve Bruce Stelter, a 56-year-old from Redwood Valley, was found near a vehicle outside his residence in the 11300 block of West Road. 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.
- Stelter’s girlfriend — Janet Kay Costanzo — was found in the burnt remains of the residence she shared with him.
- Margaret Stephenson, an 86-year-old from Redwood Valley, was found in the burnt remains of her residence in the 12800 block of Tomki Rd. 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.