UPDATE: House fire kills Chief Sealth International High School educator/coach

7:14 PM MONDAY: The Chief Sealth International High School community is mourning an educator who also served as the school’s tennis coach. 37-year-old Steadman Mathis died after an early-morning fire at his home in White Center on Sunday. Firefighters responded to the house in the 400 block of SW 108th [map] around 3:45 am on Sunday (March 6th). They quickly pulled Mr. Mathis out of the house, says Fire Chief Mike Marrs, but it was too late to save him – the King County Medical Examiner’s Office says he died of smoke inhalation. Two children in the house were rescued as well and they survived. Marrs says the fire was ruled accidental. CSIHS athletic director Ernest Policarpio remembers Mr. Mathis as “a good man.”

ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: Chief Sealth principal Ray Morales sent families a note about Mr. Mathis, and we’ve obtained it from the district. From that note:

It is with profound sadness that I am sharing news of the death of a staff member from our community. Steadman Mathis tragically passed away in a house fire early Sunday morning. He supported our community in many ways, both formally and informally. He was an Instructional Assistant in the Access Program and was Chief Sealth’s Tennis Coach. He was not just an educator and a colleague but a father, a brother, a son, a nephew and more. …

… We are a community because we care about each other. In this time of sadness, our hearts and thoughts go out to Mr. Mathis’s family. As we learn of more ways to support them, we will let you know. If you have any questions, please contact the school.

The full letter also includes resources for coping with loss.

13 Replies to "UPDATE: House fire kills Chief Sealth International High School educator/coach"

  • Alki resident March 7, 2022 (7:20 pm)

    I’m so very sorry to hear this. It sounds like only a miracle that the children were saved. Just devastating. 

  • Person March 7, 2022 (7:53 pm)

    I only met him recently, but he seemed such a positive, nice guy. Such a tragic loss. Thinking of his family.

  • Sam-c March 7, 2022 (8:13 pm)

    What a horrible loss for the community, his loved ones, and more-so, his family. May he rest in peace.

  • ACG March 7, 2022 (8:47 pm)

    Oh my. How tragic. My condolences to his family, children, friends and students he played for at Sealth. 

  • Erik K March 7, 2022 (8:48 pm)

    Deeply saddened by this tragic news. I had just met Mr. Steadman, who’d stepped up to coach my son’s CSIHS tennis team.   His family is left with a profound loss.  Appreciate learning more from WSB about efforts to assist them, as well as any memorial plans.

    • Mel mathis March 8, 2022 (6:43 am)

      I appreciate the kind words about my brother. There will be memorial on April 7 at washelle funeral home. 

  • Matty March 8, 2022 (9:30 am)

    I am a senior on the Chief Sealth tennis team. I only knew Steadman for a week, but from what I gathered, he was a kind man and he approached coaching our tennis team with enthusiasm. I wish his family well. 

  • SN March 8, 2022 (10:07 am)

    Steadman was my saving grace this year when school nursing was more challenging than it has ever been. He came in to help monitor the protected health room during COVID and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to join us. He was ready to show up right from the start, supporting this community wherever he saw a need. He will definitely be missed. My deepest condolences to his family. 

  • Cooper Family March 8, 2022 (11:23 am)

    We are so sorry to hear of this loss.  Praying for the entire Mathis & Breland family.  May you find the strength and comfort in God when you need it the most.The Cooper Family

  • Leanna Mason March 8, 2022 (2:09 pm)

    So sorry for this tragedy! Wonderful family 💕😥

  • Saleen kelly March 8, 2022 (5:57 pm)

    Hi, im a Student at Chief Sealth international High School,  i am totally devastated and have no words to speak. I’ve only know Stedmen for about 4 months or so, but in that timeframe we connected, and I’m so glad at the fact i was able to get to know him more better, not only as a teacher that works at my school but a regular person in the world. I am so thankful i got to know him, I wish nothing but the best for his loved ones. I am truly so sorry for your loss.    – saleen kelly 

  • Lindsey March 9, 2022 (2:15 am)

    Steadman loved being a dad more than anything and was excited about his future working with students. I had recently met him and was looking forward to getting to know him better. A true ray of sunshine and his loss is immeasurable. Praying for his sons and family. 

  • zm March 11, 2022 (7:56 pm)

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I got to know Steadman for only a small amount of time and was truly sad to hear that he is no longer with us. Praying for his family and hoping that they are going to be okay.

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