News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, July 10, 2013
(Photo from Lisa Moon Echols)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It was a trip of a lifetime for Rodger Marsh and his family.
He told News 12, "It was a major life change for us."
A new job, which meant new opportunities for the family of five.
But while driving through Augusta on Tuesday, their trip took a turn for the worse.
"There was a bang in the front engine compartment, didn't know what it was," Marsh said.
Soon, he saw smoke and quickly pulled over to make sure things were OK.
"I pulled my hand back and flames licked my fingers, that was the point where I knew something was wrong," he said.
Within a matter of minutes, things got heated. Then, the RV went up in flames.
"My littlest one, Caleb, he was in the car seat in the front, and I had a really hard time getting the car seat unbuckled," he said.
Everyone made it out OK, but the RV and everything inside didn't.
"Kids' pictures of their birthdays, I'll never get that stuff back," he said.
All the family could do was watch it burn.
"That kind of hit me really hard having to explain to him when he asked, hey where's my Xbox, you know, and you gotta tell him it's burnt, it's gone," he explained.
A day later, Marsh is ready to rise from the ashes.
"Today, I'm kind of more leveled down, you know, trying to get a grasp of everything that's going on, what I'm going to do, how I'm going to do it," he said.
And he has support from people he doesn't even know.
"One guy walked up right off the bat and slapped $100 in my hand," Marsh said.
Someone else paid for their hotel room that's now full of food, clothes and toys.
But the most valuable gift of all is something we can't even show you.
So we let him tell News 12.
"There's a lot of caring people out here, and I thought that was something that was dead and gone," he said.
And that's priceless for him and his family.
If you would like to donate to the Marsh family, they are staying at the Red Roof Inn off Jimmy Dyess Parkway in Augusta. Their number is (706) 228-3031.