By Kim Hynes
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
9:47 PM CDT, May 5, 2011
Dozens gathered in Kingman Thursday night to mourn the loss of a woman they knew and loved. "It's been hard, it's been really tough. All I can say is she's a good person," said Gayle Oller about Vashti Seacat.
Thirty-four year-old Seacat died early Saturday morning after her home caught fire. Her husband and two young sons made it out safely. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the fire and how Seacat died. "It's sad when somebody is young, as full of life as she was and we lose them this early and in such a manner. You've seen the house, it's tough to take," said her brother Rich Forrest.
Still her husband, two young sons, sister, brother family and friends stood outside the burnt home to pray. "It makes me feel good, I find some comfort in that," said her father Clint Forrest. Her brother says seeing so many people hold candles helps ease the pain as they wait to find out what caused Seacat's death to happen. "That's really tough for the family. All I can say is we have to trust the agencies that are involved have a reason for doing what their doing. We have to put all of our hopes in that because it's the only hopes we have right now," Rich Forrest said.
There's no time line for when information will be released on how the fire started and how Seacat died. The Kansas Attorney General is also involved in the investigation. The KBI spent several days sifting through the ashes and are now reviewing her autopsy report. Many neighbors reported hearing what sounded like gun shots or fireworks right before the fire started. Officials haven't labeled the investigation as suspicious. A patrol car remains outside of the Kingman home twenty four hours a day.
Seacat had filed for divorce and served her husband Brett with the papers two days before the fire started. He previously told Eyewitness News: "Though our marriage was ending, I will always treasure our time together. The only thing she did better at than friendship was motherhood. She was the picture of love and dedication to the two little boys who are every bit as perfect as her," Brett Seacat said. He didn't say much at the vigil, only that he appreciated everyone being there to honor Vashti.
Funeral arrangements are pending for Seacat. However a fund has been set up for her two children, Brenden age 4 and Bronsen age 2. It's at Bank of America under Brendon or Bronsen Seacat.
Update, May 4
The husband of Vashti Seacat, Brett Seacat says he and his children are devastated by her loss. A fire started in their home early Saturday morning in Kingman. Brett and the children made it out safely but Vashti died inside.
Friends and family of Seacat are holding a candlelight vigil in her honor Thursday night. It started at 6:30 p.m. in the yard next to Vashti's house at 250 N. Pine in Kingman.
Brett Seacat sent the following statement to Eyewitness News:
"Vashti was and is an angel. I have known her for nearly twenty years and like almost everyone else that has knew her, I have loved her from the moment I met her. Sadly, she lived her life always wondering if people liked her, all the while people around her thought the world of her. Though our marriage was ending, I will always treasure our time together. The only thing she did better at than friendship was motherhood. She was the picture of love and dedication to the two little boys who are every bit as perfect as her.
I am not able to make sense of what happened and I never will. She just never had any idea what she meant to everyone she knew. Everyone loved her. Her family loved her. Her boys loved her. I loved her. I'm sorry I can't put more into words."
The cause of the fire and Vashti's death is still under investigation. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is now reviewing her autopsy. The Kansas Attorney General's Office is also taking charge of the case.
Update, May 3
Eyewitness News has learned that an autopsy on Vashti Seacat is completed and has been turned over to the K.B.I.
The results of the autopsy haven't been released as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Kingman police chief has also told us the case has been turned over to the Kansas Attorney General's office.
Update, May 2
Two days after serving divorce papers to her husband, a Kingman woman dies in her home. The fire started early Saturday morning and now her family and friend want to know exactly what happened to 34-year-old Vashti Seacat. "She was a young mother and this never should have happened," said a close friend Sarah Lindsey.
Seacat filed for divorce April 14, but the papers were served to her husband Thursday. A source tell Eyewitness News he was supposed to be out of the home by Friday night.
The fire started early Saturday morning. Seacat's two boys and her husband made it out safely.
"Preliminary evidence shows we don't have enough evidence to call it suspicious," said police chief Marc Holloway. Still, since it was a deadly fire he asked for help from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas Fire Marshall.
Investigators spent Monday on the scene of the fire. They combed through the inside of the home but also spent time looking at things outside. They went through contents in a garbage can and also searched a vehicle in the driveway.
The police chief says since there's so much fire damage, it will take a long time to determine how the fire started. The chief says they are also conducting interviews and have spoken with Seacat's husband. He says her husband is cooperating but wouldn't disclose what he said about the fire or what happened that morning.
While they investigate, Lindsey struggles with the loss of her friend. "She was such a wonderful person, very giving and generous. She knew what friendship meant and how to be a good friend to you," Lindsey said. She says Seacat also knew how to be a good mother to her two and four year old boys.
She says while Seacat was a working mom, she made sure the boys always had home cooked meals. She spent her weekends cooking organic meals and would freeze them. "I really admired her. I don't work fulltime and I thought if I did, I couldn't do everything she did. She was amazing," Lindsey said.
Lindsey also has two boys so they often played together. She says she wants to remain in their lives and wants their children to continue spending time together. Lindsey says although it's so soon, she hopes the boys eventually understand how much their mother loved them. "She loved them so much and I know she'll be with them someday soon and she's watching over them," Lindsey said.
She says Seacat's loss is tragic for everyone who knew her. She says it will be difficult but they'll have to wait to find out why this happened. The police chief says the investigation at the house will last several days and it will take longer to determine a cause of the fire. He says an autopsy is also being done to determine Seacat's cause of death.
Original Story, May 1By Dave Roberts & Ryan Johnson
One person is dead and three others escape after a house fire in Kingman early Saturday morning.
It happened in the 200 block of East B. Avenue at just before 4am this morning. Both the Kingman Fire department and Kingman Police department responded to the house fire call.
Officials say a preliminary investigation shows that 34 year-old Vashti S. Seacat of Kingman died. The Kingman Police Department is being assisted in the investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas State Fire Marshal Office.
Neighbors say when the fire broke out, it sounded like a gun or firecrackers going off. The investigation into what caused the fire will continue through the weekend.
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