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Still no cause found in fatal fire

State fire marshal: Damage to home too extensive to make determination

Published: Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT


cwarren@saukvalley.com800-798-4085, ext. 521

DIXON – No official cause has yet been determined for a November fire that killed a woman in her rural Dixon home.

An incident report obtained from the office of the state fire marshal says that, while the investigation still is open, damage to the home is too extensive to rule on an exact cause of the fire that killed Louise Lopez-Landherr, 58.

The report describes in detail the path that the fire took as it enveloped the house that the victim shared with her husband, John, who was not home at the time of the fire.

The investigator was, however, able to identify an enclosed porch on the building’s south side as the area with the heaviest concentration of heat and fire damage.

In the report, two possible ignition sources are suggested.

On the night of the fire, before it began, Lopez-Landherr was playing pool at the First Street Pub in Dixon. In an interview with the investigator, her husband noted that sometimes after playing pool, Lopez-Landherr would sit in the enclosed porch and smoke two or three cigarettes before going to bed. She would then put the ashes and cigarette butts in a paper bag or an empty cigarette box, he said.

He also told the investigator that they kept two space heaters in the porch area.

The investigator found one of the space heaters in the fire debris.

According to a report from the Lee County coroner, Lopez-Landherr’s cause of death was asphyxiation due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

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