SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Police in Sioux Falls say an arson case from July is now being ruled a homicide, making it the city’s first homicide of the year.

The fire was started on July 17, at an apartment building in the 200 block of North Grange Ave.

“Initial crews arriving on scene encountered both flames and smoke coming from both the first and second story of the building. We also encountered several patients that had exited from the structure. One person was also removed from the structure by Sioux Falls Fire Rescue crews as well,” Battalion Chief Mike Murphy said on July 17th.

Charice Admire
Charice Admire

53-year-old Charice Admire died the next day after being transported to the Minneapolis area for her injuries.

“There was an autopsy that was done in Ramsey County and so we were awaiting the final report and the coroner ruled the death was homicide, I believe by smoke inhalation, but I don’t have the details on that,” Sioux Falls Police Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said on Wednesday.

The suspect in this case was also taken to Minnesota to be treated.

“The suspect had a disagreement with a person inside that apartment, and I believe the suspect may have been staying at that apartment as well,” Clemens said. “The fire was started outside in the hallway, there’s kind of a little bit of a landing and it was on that landing where the fire was started.”

It’s been almost two months now since that fire, but the suspect, a 34-year-old woman from Sioux Falls, is still in the hospital.

“Because she’s receiving the treatment, we don’t have any arrest or any charges at this point in time,” Clemens said. “But obviously we know who she is so if she’s able to get out of the hospital at such time then there likely will be charges at that point in time.”

Until then, there will be unanswered questions.

Clemens says he’s not sure why the victim and suspect were unable to escape from the fire like the others who were inside the building.