KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Investigation Closes On Fatal Fire In SF

Bookmark and Share

Officials have wrapped up their investigation of a fatal house fire in Sioux Falls that killed three children just days before Christmas.

Investigators from Sioux Falls Fire Rescue say there's not enough evidence to pinpoint a specific cause, and have labeled the case as undetermined.  

Emergency crews were on the scene three minutes after the first call to 911. The home built 113 years ago was already up in flames; flames so intense three children were trapped and killed on the top floor.

The fire started on the northwestern side of the home, in the living room. Officials know a lamp, table, and couch were in the corner, but the fire burned for so long officials say finding proof to pinpoint the how the fire ignited was impossible. 

Fire Marshal Dean Lanier said, “We found this area to be the origin of the fire however due to the lack of evidence we could uncover while we were there, we are going to have to list the fire as undetermined as to a cause.”

Police say the mother of the three children did have drugs in her system the morning of the fire, but police believe there will be no arrests made in relation to this fire.

Officer Sam Clemens of the Sioux Falls Police Department said, “No evidence of drugs or paraphernalia were found in the house.” 

While exactly what happened may never be known, investigators were able to rule out drugs and other potential causes.


Lanier said, ”They could find no principle cause, electrical cause, for the cause of the fire.”

But investigators can't come to a conclusion only by eliminating other possibilities.

Lanier said, “It's not a true scientific method to just invent a cause.”

The investigation is now closed, leaving behind a mystery with questions still unanswered. And with three children dead, fire investigators wish they could say more.  

Lanier said, “I would love to be able to tell you we had the exact cause and origin, that we could tell you exactly what caused it, but these types of fire investigations do come out undetermined from time to time.”

It's still unclear if the smoke detectors in the home were working at the time of fire, but an earlier report in 2012 stated that the home did have them.

The investigation would only re-open if new evidence was found.

< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >

Barn Fire Kills 7,500 Turkeys Near Worthington

A fire in a poultry barn near Worthington has killed about 7,500 three-week-old ...

Sturgis Officials Planning For 2015 Rally Traffic

City officials in Sturgis have begun talking about how to handle the traffic during ...

Magistrate Judge Named To Seventh Judicial Circuit

The South Dakota Supreme Court has appointed Bernie Schuchmann as a full-time ...

Daugaard To Push For More Drug Courts In Session  Dec. 17

SD Ranks Seventh Among States For Volunteering  Dec. 17

Police: Spencer Woman Found Dead In Apartment  Dec. 17

Update: Missing Man Found Deceased  Dec. 17

The Daily Scoop: 12-17-14  story with video  Dec. 17

SF Building Damaged After Overnight Fire   Dec. 17

Most Popular Google Searches Of 2014  story with video  Dec. 17

The Search For A Superintendent Continues  Dec. 16

Prosecutor: "I Was Surprised By The Verdict"  story with video  Dec. 16

Ice, Snow Leaves Hundreds In The Dark  story with video  Dec. 16

Improvements Coming To South Dakota Rail   story with video  Dec. 16

Pierre Teenager To Serve 10 Years In Prison  Dec. 16

$56 Million Investment In SD Rail Projects  Dec. 16

Downtown SF Vehicles Asked To Be Moved  Dec. 16

Grant Boosts Distracted Driving Education  Dec. 16

Rapid City Firefighters Rescue Boys From Mud  Dec. 16

The Daily Scoop 12-16-2014  story with video  Dec. 16

KDLT News Archive

Prosecutor: "I Was Surprised By The Verdict"  story with video

The Pierre teenager convicted of fatally shooting one of ...

Pierre Teenager To Serve 10 Years In Prison

A judge has sentenced a Pierre teenager to 25 ...

Sioux Falls Casino Robbed At Gunpoint

Sioux Falls Police are looking for two suspects who robbed a ...

Update: Missing Man Found Deceased  Dec. 17

Former USD Basketball Coach Dies   Dec. 16

SF Building Damaged After Overnight Fire   Dec. 17

$56 Million Investment In SD Rail Projects  Dec. 16

Rapid City Firefighters Rescue Boys From Mud  Dec. 16

KDLT News Archive

Mustangs snap Madison's win streak  story with video

Jaden Sonnenberg's 3-point shooting helped the Tr-Valley ...

Cougars win behind Mack Johnson's 30  story with video

SIOUX FALLS – Led by a career-high 30 points from sophomore guard ...

Skyforce huge 4th rallies them past Mad Ants  story with video

Sioux Falls, SD (Dec. 16, 2014) – After scoring only 65 ...

Geu, Warriors beat Roosevelt 54-39  story with video  Dec. 16

Johnson like chemistry on his Cougars team  story with video  Dec. 16

Hammon is ESPN's Woman of the Year  story with video  Dec. 16

Force won't deviate from Miami's strategy  story with video  Dec. 16

More All-American honors for Zenner  Dec. 16

KDLT Sports Stories
Back To Top