SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue.
Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. Mentally, it's traumatizing. Physically, I'm doing well," said Nakita Matherly, who lost the condo she lived in.
Matherly lived in one of the condos that was destroyed for over six months. "It sucks. Honestly. I'm really sad to not just go home," said Matherly.
Matherly says she was hanging out on her couch around 8:30 Sunday night. She smelled smoke and got up to see where it was coming from and checked outside. "When I looked down, all I saw was flames so I immediately went into panic mode. I grabbed my phone and I called my mom at one percent and I told her screaming at the top of my lungs, 'My house is on fire!' my phone died, I ran into my bedroom, grabbed my two cats, ran out the door with my keys. I heard like a bang right as I was leaving my house so it was really scary," said Matherly.
She helped her neighbors to get their pets to a safe place and put them into cars and RVs. "It was really sad. At first, I didn't realize what was happening and the minute my mom and dad got here, I just broke into tears and I realized everything was gone, so it's been hard," she said.
Matherly says even though she lost everything, thankfully she still has what she needs which is a place to stay, some extra clothes, her cats, her family and friends, along with homeowners insurance. She's more worried about her neighbors and knowing that someone died. "That's a horrible thing to happen and I wish no one would have to experience that," said Matherly.
She says even in a tragic situation, she couldn't be more grateful to those who helped. "I just want to thank the firefighters. They were a tremendous support for us and were so helpful last night. I'm so thankful for Spokane and what they have done for me in this time," said Matherly.
She's taking steps to move forward but this will be something burned into her mind for a long time.
Matherly says that she learned a big lesson in all of this which is to always be prepared and have a disaster kit packed with essentials like clothes and water.
The medical examiner hasn't released the name of the person who died in the fire. They are doing an autopsy.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.