PONCA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Six children are now left to grow up without a father after a 31-year-old man died after his home went up in flames, Ponca City Police say.
“I didn’t stop or slow down,” Tenaya Whitestar said. “I just drove by.”
Tenaya Whitestar says she can’t even stop to look at her home, as it sits destroyed and covered in soot.
“I still didn’t believe it for a while,” Whitestar said. “I’ve known him since I was 16.”
31-year-old Matthew Nuttle, a young father of six, was pulled from his burning home just after midnight Friday in Ponca City.
Nuttle was rushed to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.
“I was putting the kids to sleep and I got the phone call,” Whitestar said.
Tenaya tells KFOR she was at the house just hours before the fire, but she decided to take the kids to spend the night at her sister-in-law’s home just a few miles away.
“I know that I couldn’t have got through this by myself for sure,” Nuttle’s sister Shannon White said. “I’m trying to be as strong as I can for her, and her kids, and my kids as well.”
The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation.
Ponca City sent KFOR the preliminary report, stating Nuttle’s death is listed as an “unattended death.”
The department then handed the case over to the State Fire Marshall.
According to the report, Nuttle was suspected of drinking before he died.
But Tenaya says right now her focus is on her children and laying her first love to rest.
“It was always me and him and our kids,” Whitestar said.
Police tell KFOR they did respond to two domestic calls at the couple’s specific address hours before the fire.
Nuttle’s funeral is set for Wednesday.
The cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner in four to six weeks.
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