CASTILE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Investigators are searching for a woman who lived in a municipal building that was destroyed by a fire Tuesday in the Wyoming county Village of Castile.
Lorraine Qutermous' apartment was part of the building, as was a restaurant owned by Qutermous, Lorraine's Place.
Qutermous has not been seen since the fire, that started around 2 a.m. Tuesday. It is unclear whether she was in the building at the time of the fire.
GALLERY | See photos of the fire and building here
Wyoming County Sheriff Farris Heimann said, "We have not located the owner [of Lorraine's Place] and that's part of the ongoing investigation."
Residents of the community are hoping the popular restaurant owner is found soon. "It does not look good right now, but we have nothing definitive at this point. So everyone's just waiting and praying," Castile United Church of Christ Rev. Katheryn Bindig.
Castile remains in a state of emergency because the municipal building was also the home of town and village offices and a courthouse. Wyoming County Fire and Emergency Management Director Tony Santoro explained, "Because their government is not functioning right now as the government should be, it allows the state to come up and help them get things running. Hopefully we'll be up and running in a day or two."
Officials say the firehouse will serve as a court house and the Bank of Castile has made office space for village and town workers at no cost.
The building dates back to 1882. Some of the government records inside were salvaged, but it hasn't been determined what's been lost.
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