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Cause Of Fire That Killed 3 Children Still Unknown

January 15, 2013, 11:59 AM by Ben Dunsmoor

Cause Of Fire That Killed 3 Children Still Unknown
December 22, 2012


The cause of the December fire that killed three children is still under investigation, while the mother of the children now faces drug charges.

On Monday, police charged 34-year-old Rhiannon White with having meth, ecstasy and marijuana in her system when her house burned on December 22.  White and her husband got out of the house, but their three children did not escape.

Sioux Falls Fire Marshal Dean Lanier says the recent drug charges don't change their investigation.  In fact, the investigation into the cause of the fire hasn't really started because the house had structural issues following the fire and crews had to work to support it before anyone could go inside.  The house also has to be thawed out and dried out before investigators go inside to look for a cause.

Sioux Falls Police Public Information Officer Sam Clemens says a police detective typically assists with all fire investigations in the city in case the cause of the fire is suspicious.  He says police are still assisting in this investigation as they do routinely.

As far as whether the charges change anything, Clemens says officials will likely take that into account as they continue this investigation.

Officials charged White with two counts of possession of drugs after lab results from White's emergency room visit following the fire showed she had the drugs in her system.

Court documents say in an interview earlier this month, White admitted she had used meth two days before the fire.

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