Late Night Fire Claims the Life of a Mother

<p>Tami Mathison</p>

Tami Mathison

Pastor Larry Mays stared at a charred home, still struck with disbelief.

He received a call late last night, where he was informed one of his church members had perished in a fire.

"There's a numbness there, it's sort of hard to believe," said Pastor Larry, "Yesterday, everything was fine, today she's gone."

It happened last night just before midnight on North West Crescent Avenue in Sunnyside.

Crews arrived to find the two story home engulfed in flames.

Family members tell us 41-year-old Tami Mathison ran back into the home during the fire, after not seeing 2 of her 5 children -- moments later, she was seen next to a window, where her family asked her to jump.

Instead, she walked back towards the smoke and was overtaken by the fire -- crews were unable to rescue her.

Due to the intensity of the flames and the house coming down, crews had to wait until this afternoon to tear the house down in order to recover Mathison's body.

"This is going very slowly, meticulous, working from one thing to the other, and not getting any of our people hurt" said Capt. Joel Byam, "And really trying to bring closure to the family."

Although Mathison's five children and husband were not seriously injured -- Pastor Larry couldn't fathom the pain they are going through at the moment.

"We're just so sorry that this happened," said Pastor Larry, "But as Christians, we know that one of these days, we'll be reunited again in the Great Resurrection."   

Mathison's church says it is planning on holding a memorial service for her at the end of next week.

Damage to the property was estimated at $200,000 -- no word yet on what caused the fire.