A MAN whose wife allegedly set fire to his genitals while he slept has died.
Satish Narayan, 47, an engineer, lost his battle to survive at the Royal Adelaide Hospital yesterday, 20 days after sustaining burns to most of his body.
The incident has now been declared a major crime by police and it is likely his wife, Rajini, will face a charge of manslaughter or murder.
Police have alleged Mr Narayan's wife doused his genitals with methylated spirit and then set him on fire about 5.30am on December 7.
Mrs Narayan had been charged with causing serious harm to her husband, arson and endangering her children.
A neighbour told the Sunday Mail she had visited Mrs Narayan in the Adelaide Women's Prison yesterday, before she had been told of her husband's death.
She said she was providing support to her friend over what she said was a "terrible tragedy".
She said the pair had held hands and prayed during her visit. "She wanted him to live, more than anything," she said.
"I didn't know them very well but I've got to know her now through visiting her in prison.
"The children are beautiful and it's just a terrible tragedy."
The neighbour said the couple's children were "beautiful, upright citizens" and "anyone would be proud of them".
It is believed a major blaze was sparked at the couple's Cleland Ave townhouse in Unley when Mr Narayan jumped out of bed and knocked over the bottle of methylated spirit.
The fire caused about $1 million of damage to the couple's home and an adjacent property.
Mr Narayan suffered burns to 85 per cent of his body. Mrs Narayan and the couple's three children escaped unharmed from the burning house.
Police spokesman Senior Constable Paul Noble yesterday refused to comment on whether police were considering upgrading the charges.
"The information we have released is all we are going to release today," he said.
But a court has heard previously it was likely the Director of Public Prosecutions would lay charges of manslaughter or murder if Mr Narayan died.
It is believed the Narayans only shifted to Adelaide from Canberra a few months ago, after Mr Narayan landed a job working on the Air Warfare Destroyer project.
Sturt CIB are continuing to investigate the crime.