An apartment fire that killed a 26-year-old Newton man in May has been ruled an arson, and police now are investigating the death as a homicide.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Kansas Committee on Arson, in conjunction with Newton Police Department and Newton Fire/EMS, are offering a reward of up to $7,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the fire at Slate Creek Apartments, 517 Cherry Lane on May 18, a new release stated.

Two individuals were seen running from the area moments before the fire was discovered. One was wearing dark pants with wide white or light-colored stripes, the release stated.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Harvey County CrimeStoppers at 284-2400 or (800) KS-CRIME. The hotlines are answered 24 hours a day, and all calls remain confidential.

The fire in the eight-apartment complex was reported about 10 p.m. May 18.

Shawn Ormsbee, who lived at the complex, reportedly died after he went back into the burning apartment. Another resident, 34-year-old Sharon Fisher, was treated for minor injuries after jumping from a second-floor balcony.

Damage was estimated at $240,000.