Sapulpa Family Sees Double-Dose Of Tragedy


Wednesday, May 23rd 2012, 6:02 pm
By: News On 6


A Sapulpa family faces new challenges after the house they were staying in caught fire this weekend.

The family was already in shock after a 4-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by her mother's live-in boyfriend in their Creek County mobile home in early April.

Now the family lost everything else in the flames.

It's another blow to a family still recovering from tragedy.

Tommy and Janie Matney opened their home to Tommy's sister and her two children. The three needed a place to stay after an appalling assault in early April.

The sister's live-in boyfriend, Tommy Braden, told police an intruder attacked his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter.

The family dog was also found stabbed to death. The little girl's bedroom window had been broken.

But investigators say Braden's story didn't add up and they ended up arresting him for sexually assaulting the little girl.

To escape the horrors, the three sought sanctuary with family.

"[The little girl] is doing a lot better," Tommy Matney said. "She has a spirit about her now. She came here, we got her some animals. Goats, pigs and stuff like that."

The three were not home when an electrical fire started in the living room on Sunday morning.

"They come and stay with us and haven't been here but more than a month and now we have another tragedy," Janie Matney said.

But the Matney's were home on the other side of the house, asleep with their 2-year-old daughter Trinity, when they smelled smoke.

"He kicked the door down for us to get out the back door," Tommy Matney said.

The Matney's escaped the flames. But the fire is still haunts Trinity.

"She said, Mama, a monster started a fire in my house," Janie Matney said.

The Matney's say they are thankful to be alive -- and grateful that Tommy Matney's sister and kids were not there.

"Her room was already gone before I could even... there was no way we could even get to her," Tommy Matney said.

And the heartbreak and horrors they've suffered over the past month will only make them stronger as a family.

"Just appreciating what we do have," Tommy Matney said. "Just having my family. That's what's been on my mind. It puts things in perspective."