ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - The Franklin family of St. Martin is counting their blessings after two of their cars exploded into flames in their driveway Monday morning. A third car also sustained damage. Fortunately, damage to the house on Santa Fe Avenue was limited to some melted vinyl siding.
The fire began about 2:30am. That's when Ashley and Deadrick's 13-year-old son, Tyler, woke up and saw an orange glow outside his bedroom window.
"I woke up to use the bathroom and then I noticed there was some orange outside, so I opened my blinds and I saw a fire," Tyler recalled. "I rushed to my mom's room and told her and she hurried up and got my brothers out."
The family of seven was able to escape through a back door. Volunteer firefighters arrived within minutes of the 911 call, and had the blaze under control within 20 minutes.
Mom, Ashley, and dad, Deadrick, are proud of their son and his quick thinking.
"He was scared as I don't know what. But he still found a way to come to the room and tell us there was a fire outside. I was hoping it was a nightmare, but it wasn't. We looked outside, and sure enough, we had a truck in flames out here," Ashley Franklin said. "Things started popping and they started panicking. We had to go around the back yard and open and unlock the gate and get out and go around the other side to other road over there, so a very scary scene."
The couple said they're thankful to the volunteer firefighters who showed up to fight the blaze so quickly.
"The firefighters did an awesome job," Deadrick Franklin said. "They were going to our neighbor's home, checking to make sure everybody was out of their homes and everybody was safe. They did a great job."
It appears the fire started because of an electrical problem in the large SUV, but insurance should cover all the damages.
"These cars, I've had to tell them when they ask what's next. I say we're okay. The cars, that's nothing. We're okay, everybody is okay," Ashley Franklin said.
"I'm happy my family, my wife, and my kids are okay," Deadrick Franklin said. "Like my wife said, we can always get other cars and we're blessed to be here."