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SFFR Investigating Cause Of Fatal House Fire

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A fire in central Sioux Falls has claimed the life of an elderly woman. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue says it's the 4th fatal fire in city so far this year.    


Chief Jim Sideras said, "It was a tragic scene this (Friday) morning."


It was just before 6:30 Friday morning when Sioux Falls Fire Rescue was called to this home on 31st Street and South Duluth Avenue.


"When they got there, they did have some smoke. They did have some flames," said Sideras.


When crews arrived, they found the owner of the home, inside alone. The homeowner was 77-year-old Margaret Solveig Steen, a long-time music instructor at Augustana College. After teaching piano at Augie for 52years, she was set to retire this spring, a retirement she'll never get to see.


Sideras said, "A person was trapped and they got that person out but efforts failed to resuscitate them."


Sioux Falls fire Rescue says they didn't hear any smoke detectors going off at the scene and the home did have power. However, they say it's too early to tell what caused the fire.


Sideras said, "You just don't want to jump to a conclusion so just because it's bad weather and we had a storm doesn't mean that caused the fire."


Augustana College says Solveig Steen was a native of Sioux Falls. She graduated from Washington High School, earned her bachelor's degree from Augustana, and masters degree at the University of Michigan. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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