Fire survivor: “I kind of wish it was me”

Fatal fire on Pinehurst Avenue in Dayton. (WDTN Photo)
Fatal fire on Pinehurst Avenue in Dayton. (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The woman who escaped a deadly fire in Dayton early Thursday morning spoke with 2 NEWS about her ordeal.

The fire killed her fiancee and her fiancee’s son.

She says she barely escaped the burning home, but tried to save her loved ones. She says the flames were so intense, she could not get back inside.

“I kind of wish it was me. I kind of wish that I did die because I don’t know what to do,” said Tana Stewart, escaped fire.

Stewart didn’t want her face shown on camera.

She says the victim, 37-year-old Tia Strickland, was her world.

The two had been together for five years and were engaged to be married.

Stewart says she came home early from work because she was sick. She told Tia she loved her, went upstairs and fell asleep.

She woke up around 1:00 a.m. to find smoke filling the bedroom.

Stewart says she tried to wake up Tia and her 15-year-old son, Ricky, who were asleep in other parts of the house.

“I was yelling Tia, you know what I’m saying, Tia and then when I went to go open the bedroom door, the smoke hit me and I ran back out because there was so much smoke, it was blinding. It was black as the cameras and I jumped out the window and, as I was about get out the window, I yelled for Ricky. I was like, ‘Ricky’ and he was like ‘What?’ and I was like “A Fire!” and as I was jumping out I heard him punch the windows.”

Stewart was able to get out of the second floor window and jump to a neighbor’s roof. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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