Family escapes SUV after it catches fire, days after purchase

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

SOUTH HOUSTON, Texas - A video shows the moments after a southeast Houston family had to run for their lives when their SUV erupted into flames just two days after they bought it.

"I kid you not," Ebony Shackleford, who was driving, said. "As soon as I turned the car off the hood was on fire."

Photos given to Channel 2 show what is left of the 2004 Chevy Tahoe.

On Monday, Shackleford and her boyfriend Schon Brooks were driving his cousin from a job interview near Greenspoint.

As they were nearing a stop sign, they noticed a strange smell from under the hood.

When the SUV started burning, they all jumped out and grabbed the couple's 2-year-old daughter, who was in her car seat in the back.

They said Moriah is now having nightmares.

"When she wakes up out of her sleep she's screaming," Brooks said. "She's crying because she keeps on thinking about the fire."

The couple bought the SUV from Carnes Motor Company in the city of South Houston.

They purchased it 'as is' and say the dealership told them the couple's insurance would have to handle the loss.

But they're now stuck without a car -- which means no way to work -- and no transportation in the event of an emergency.

"When I think about a car sold 'as is' I think about if any maintenance or anything like that goes on we have to come out of pocket for it," Shackleford said. "Not that the car is gonna blow up in our face."

"There's nothing we could've done," Brooks said. "And there's more that should be done to help us. Just because that's right."

Channel 2 did reach out to the car dealership, but a representative said they would have no comment.

The couple says they would at least like the dealership to apologize and provide them with a loaner car until they can find a new vehicle.

In the meantime they have set up a GoFundMe account here.

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