Update: "Too much damage" leaves cause of fatal Sioux Falls fire undetermined
The Sioux Falls Fire Marshall says the amount of damage in a fatal fire last month has left a cause undetermined.
A fire at 1100 North Main in Sioux Falls killed three children on the morning of December 22. Michael Hensley, 16, Savannah Coon, 12, and Alivia Coon, 6, all died in the fire.
It was not until a month later that fire crews were able to enter the structure for an investigation. Firefighters had to structurally hold up the building because there was so much damage on the second and main floors.
However, that investigation could not provide any answers.
Fire Marshall Dean Lanier provided an update on the investigation during Tuesday's police briefing. Lanier said they think the fire started in a corner of the living room, but there is not enough physical evidence to narrow an origin of the blaze.
When you've got this amount of time for the fire to continue to grow and continue to burn, there's just not enough physical evidence.
Lanier said an electrical engineer ruled out an electrical cause. He said investigators ran the probe to end of its course and still couldn't determine the cause.
Officer Sam Clemens, Sioux Falls Police Spokesperson, said there was no evidence of drugs or paraphernalia inside the home.
Lanier said it is not uncommon to have cases like these. He added that the point of these investigations is to learn a lesson.
Lanier said the investigations help teach the community how to be prepared for situation like these. Lanier said he cannot stress enough that everyone should have the basic life safety necessities-- like smoke detectors.
"Everyone should take these steps to make sure the consequences of these events don't have to be so severe," Lanier said.