A fire that took the life of a Weatherly woman and her disabled mother last year has been ruled arson and the deaths a homicide.

State police at Hazleton did not release details of how the fire was set but added the fire that killed Julie Ann Everitt, 43, and Mary Catherine Hoffman, 81, who resided at 208 Hudsondale St., was ruled arson. The two women died of smoke inhalation.

At the time of the fire Charles Matusick, 53, the boyfriend of Everitt, escaped from the fire. The fire was reported about 2:30 a.m. on May 18, 2009. By the time firemen arrived on scene the home was engulfed in flames.

Reportedly, in May 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had joined state police in the probe of the fire.