Truck fire burns down South Georgia home -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Truck fire burns down South Georgia home

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February 3, 2006

Doerun -- A Doerun family lost everything when their home burned overnight, but the family escaped unharmed.

Fire Investigators say their Ford Pickup Truck, parked in their garage started the blaze.

The Culbreths were all asleep when the fire started in their garage around three this morning. Sixteen-year-old Chrissy saved her family. "I heard what sounded like someone trying to break into the house. Like glass shattering," Chrissy said.

What she heard was the family garage going up in flames. Arson Investigators say the fire started in Culbreth's 2005 Ford F-150 pickup truck. "It's kind of hard to sink in. You buy a new truck, what do you expect from it," said Jon Culbreth said. "Not this at all."

Nearly 4 million Ford Pickup trucks and SUVs have been recalled because of fires linked to the cruise control switch system, causing them to burst into flames. But that recall is for trucks made before 2003, when Ford changed the suspected switch.

But Investigators say for some reason this four-month-old truck burst into flames, hours after it was last driven. "That's just where he said it started at, and there wasn't anything else there to have burnt but that," Culbreth said.

Sue Culbreth said the fire spread quickly. "By the time I got out of the back bedroom into the middle of the house, the smoke had already taken us away about it."

In just minutes the house his father built, their car and trucks, and everything they own was ashes.

All morning neighbors and friends from Doerun stopped by to give help and encouragement. Jon Culbreth said, "The support they have shown and given us, it's been unreal. Fine community."

The Culbreths will stay with family, while they rebuild in this tight knit community that has rallied to help them.

Federal regulators are investigating the Ford recalled truck line, linked to dozens of fires and at least three deaths. The recall is the fifth largest in history.


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