'Suspicious' fire investigation underway, family loses everything

'Suspicious' fire investigation underway, family loses everything
Rhonda Brooks said she lost everything to the fire. (Source: WALB)
Rhonda Brooks said she lost everything to the fire. (Source: WALB)

RANDOLPH CO., GA (WALB) - Officials with the State Fire Marshall's office said a Randolph County fire, that has left a family with nothing, is being considered suspicious.

The fire started Sunday around 6 p.m. completely consuming the house, and everything in it

Rhonda Brooks was renting the home. On Tuesday she went back to look at the property.

"Your house is gone," said Brooks as she stood with her nephew.

A few days have passed, but Brooks said she's still trying to come to terms with the loss she's feeling.

"I don't know if I'm angry. I think I'm just sad," explained Brooks, as she looked at what was left of the home, that she worked hard to furnish for her children.

Brooks had been renting the house on Dairy Road in Cuthbert since February. She was living with her five children and nephew, who had moved from Florida to be closer to her mom.

She said she and a few of her children were in Florida visiting family on Sunday when she got a call about the fire.

Friends and family sent her photos of the blaze. It wasn't until late Sunday night that she saw it with her own eyes.

"It was still going, some of it," explained Brooks. "It was smoky a lot, but it was still going. Even yesterday morning."

The Shellman Volunteer Department, Cuthbert and Randolph County Fire Departments arrived at the home around 6 p.m. Sunday.

Officials said firemen spent more than six hours dousing the flames, pumping water from a nearby pond.

"It's hard. It hurts," said Brooks as she walked around the home. "Even to come look at it, it hurts, everything I worked so hard for, gone."

Local fire officials called in the State Fire Marshall's office to help determine a cause of the fire.

Investigators spent the day on scene on Monday collecting evidence. There is no official cause right now, but investigators are calling it suspicious.

Brooks said she didn't have insurance. She said she using Red Cross money to buy her kids some clothes, and staying with people in the community while she looks for a house.

For now, all she said she can do is look to her faith. She's thankful all her family members are alive.

If you want to get in touch with Brooks, you can contact her on her Facebook page.

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