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Clearer picture emerges from spouse of woman who perished in house fire

Despite earlier reports that the woman trapped in a house fire near Sunnyside last Thursday night was standing near an upstairs window and appeared afraid to jump, apparently was not the case. Marty Mathison, whose wife Tami perished in the blaze, said yesterday that his wife never could have leaped from the home's second floor window. Mathison said family members outside the home only briefly saw her at the window for a second or two. "She never had the opportunity to jump," he said. The fire that claimed the life of the 41-year-old woman, not 50 years old as reported earlier, ignited shortly after 11 p.m. last Thursday. The Yakima County fire marshal has yet to release the official cause of the blaze. Mr. Mathison and the couple's five children escaped injury. It is believed his wife re-entered the home thinking one of her children was still inside the structure. From discussions he had with the county coroner, Mr. Mathison said it appears certain that his wife died from smoke inhalation. "It was a very quick death," he said. Mrs. Mathison's body wasn't recovered from the burned structure until early the next afternoon. Fire Marshal Ron Rutherford said emergency personnel were unable to reach her during the fire because of the intense heat. Firemen were further hampered when the upper level of the home, which also included a basement, collapsed into the first floor.

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