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.