New Mexico family safe after RV burns

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 5:02 PM
Last updated 8:29 PM
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The motorhome of a family relocating from New Mexico to Charleston, S.C., burned Tuesday on Interstate 20.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
The motorhome of a family relocating from New Mexico to Charleston, S.C., burned Tuesday on Interstate 20.

All Roger Marsh could do was stand on the side of Interstate 20 and watch everything he owned burn.

Marsh was on the last leg of a 1,600-mile trek from Roswell, N.M., to Charleston, S.C., when his RV and everything in it went up in flames Tuesday afternoon.

He thought his 1977 Ford Econoline motorhome was overheating just east of exit 194 at Belair Road about 2:20 p.m. He saw smoke and pulled over to check the engine, but the hood was too hot to open, he said.

“We just started evacuating,” Marsh said.

That meant getting his wife, Ronda Odom; sons Jesse, 4, and Caleb, 2; and Kola, an Australian shepherd out in a hurry. No one was injured, though Marsh said he had a little trouble getting his barefoot 2-year-old out of the car seat quickly.

“Everybody is safe, that’s the important thing,” Odom said.

The family was relocating to Charleston for a potential job for Odom. They had downsized, and all their belongings were in the vehicle.

“Everything we had was in that RV,” Odom said.

Columbia County Fire Rescue personnel found the RV fully engulfed in flames. Emergency personnel stopped all eastbound traffic while the fire was extinguished.

The fire started in the engine compartment, but the cause is being investigated, Battalion Chief James Burnett said.

A passerby called 911. Others got the family a room at the nearby Red Roof Inn.

“Everybody here has been golden,” Marsh said.

The American Red Cross was called in to assist the family.

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happychimer
18510
Points
happychimer 07/09/13 - 06:10 pm
1
0
sad scene. I was stuck in

sad scene. I was stuck in traffic on the I-20 entrance ramp for 45 minutes right after it happened.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/09/13 - 07:32 pm
3
0
AC, if there is some place
Unpublished

AC, if there is some place folks can donate please post it.

Riverman1
86790
Points
Riverman1 07/09/13 - 08:06 pm
2
0
Can You Imagine

Imagine what it's like for that to happen to a family. All their belongings in the RV as they are moving cross country to a new job.

RodgerMarsh
14
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RodgerMarsh 07/09/13 - 11:34 pm
5
0
My RV

Sorry about the hold up on the interstate today folks...I am Rodger Marsh and twas I and my family who's RV burned to the ground. I couldn't tell ya why..but I can tell you one thing. up until today I had lost faith. faith in God, faith in my fellow man. seemed America wasn't the same as I grew up in, that people had forgotten a lot of things. But Today taught me something. there is a god as we are all safe and that there still is good ol american values alive and well in america, people willing to help and go above and beyond for their fellow man. Augusta GA. I salute you!! you really are a great community of caring individuals. Me and my family thank you from the bottom of our hearts. we lost everything today..but ya know what..we still got eachother and a few new friends that we are truely proud to call FRIENDS...be proud of your community and keep it up you may just be the last stronghold of those core values in America. thank you all for your help I am honored to have found this lil city Sincerely R. Marsh from the red roof inn....out

TruckChix
404
Points
TruckChix 07/10/13 - 06:22 am
4
0
How can we help???

So very happy your family is safe!!! I among many would really love to help you out!!! Clothes, money, food, puppy needs... what can we help you with?

Sean Moores
705
Points
Sean Moores 07/10/13 - 11:27 am
4
0
Donations

I emailed Valerie. Here is her response:

"As far as I know, nothing formal has been set up. Folks have just been taking donations to the Red Roof Inn, on Belair-Frontage Road at I-20. That’s where the family is staying temporarily, at least until July 15. "

happychimer
18510
Points
happychimer 07/10/13 - 07:30 pm
1
0
RodgerMarsh you don't have to

RodgerMarsh you don't have to apologize for holding up traffic yesterday. It wasn't your fault. I am glad you and your family are safe. What size clothes do you and your family need?

RodgerMarsh
14
Points
RodgerMarsh 07/11/13 - 12:11 am
0
0
RE: RE:

well as far as clothes people have been bringing everything from clothes,toys, dog food, food for us,diapers etc. in fact this motel room is kinda packed right now with clothes we have been going through people have donated so until we know where we stand exactly on clothes i cant really say..been up all night answering the door and phone calls..where our real problem is this right now..see the RV was both transportation to the destination and lodging upon arrival. we were going to stay in the RV until the wife got a paycheck or two under her belt and during that time we could find a place thereby saving the cost on motels etc..now a whole new spin is on things. We still have some money but we have a choice of buying cheap transportation or a place to live in all reality we need both yet can only do one or the other with the cash we have on hand. if I could find a good solid dependable vehicle at a very cheap price I may be able to swing both by the skin of my teeth. Another option is just say heck with it and stay here that would save a little money but not really as the wife would have to get a nurse license for GA. kinda in a catch 22 situation. I know from experience that opportunity seldom "knocks" . you have to go to opportunitys door and kick it in..i'm looking for opportunitys address..sorry I deal with stress via humor..anyway tricky situation wrong decision and we sink and I am not a good swimmer.

Rodger "the red roof" Marsh

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