Local News

Family Unhurt After SUV Fire Spreads to Home

Posted March 21, 2008

— Seven people, including three children, were escaped without injury after a vehicle fire spread to their home.

The 6 a.m. fire at 2210 Lazy River Drive, off New Bern Avenue, awakened 12-year-old Donday Washington Jr.

"I saw flames. I saw little embers rising. Actually, I thought it was a dream at first," Donday said. "I got up and ran and told my father there was something burning."

His father asked him to wake the rest of the family, which includes a 3-month-old and two 1-year-olds, and flee the house.

"I got my sister up, and she got her two babies. My mom got up, and she got her granddaughter, and we came across the street," Donday said.

Donday Washington Sr. said his 1997 Ford Expedition caught fire for an unknown reason – it was part of a recall last summer linked to a switch that could cause a fire – and the flames spread to the area around the garage, including his son's bedroom.

"Just the way that he responded, it was a blessing. Everbody was able to get out of the home," Washington said. "I have to thank God because it could have been so much worse."

"People tell you to stay calm during things like this, so I just tried to stay calm," Donday said.

The Red Cross put the family in a hotel for the weekend. Relatives in Fayetteville also were helping the family.

Much of the house sustained no damage from the fire and the effort to extinguish it, and Washington said the family plans to move back in as soon as repairs can be made.


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  • doubletrouble Mar 21, 2008

    When will Detroit ever learn...that trying to save a buck on a simple switch, in the end, will result in more money spent via lawsuits, recalls, unhappy customers who will never return, etc. They just don't get it. The beancounters don't look for long term returns, only the short term for profits for shareholders. Now, after shoving junk down the public's throat for many, many years...where are their stock prices now, or their market share? Made in the USA used to mean something. Now, it only means high corporate salaries and bonuses, plus outsourcing overseas and out of work US citizens. All for corporate greed.

    Glad everyone got out safe...bet a new Toyota, Nissan or some other foreign make will find a new home. Heads up Detroit!!

  • davidgnews Mar 21, 2008

    This recall would be a good investigative story for Monica and/or Cullen as well.

    Maybe FORD would give THEM an answer.

  • catwoman1 Mar 21, 2008

    Thank God this family is all safe and alive. I'm glad I got rid of my Ford Explorer.

  • davidgnews Mar 21, 2008

    Ford is being ridiculously irresponsible with their recall - I called them about my 2000 Ranger, and the recall 'fix' has been on national backorder for months on end. They just want to unplug the component and take the easy way out.

    I'll never buy another Ford, for this, and a few other reliability issues. How the mighty have fallen.

    Too bad Roy Cooper doesn't initiate a class-action lawsuit, or at least consumers !!! I'd happily join them.

  • cat976 Mar 21, 2008

    Glad everyones safe, but i smell a lawsuit coming!

  • lecker73 Mar 21, 2008

    I know someone who's Explorer caught fire in the Walmart parking lot. Damaged the cars around hers. So glad to hear everyone is safe.

  • djofraleigh Mar 21, 2008

    And yes, that kid is a hero for alerting his family.

  • djofraleigh Mar 21, 2008


    Never park a car (with gallons and gallons of gas and an oil soaked motor and front end) in or near your house. They burn pretty often.

    I had a 2000 Expedition with 5.4 engine...sold it in 2005 after 170,000 miles. That thing would get 20 mpg doing 75, but NEVER got 21mpg, and 17 all around driving. I sold it when gas went up and am now driving an Acura that gets 22mpg overall. Go figure. The Expedition was excellent, giving me no trouble except for an electric window (I put it down at every light) and the interior dash motor. It would pull my horse trailer or Airstream as if they were not there. (mpg went way down w/o the over drive). Tell your friends to see that their vehicle is listed with the manufacturer with THEIR current address and name.

  • bronzegoddess40 Mar 21, 2008

    Glad to hear that all got out of the house safely. I have a Ford Escape, I hope that I will not have the same problem.

  • tesy Mar 21, 2008