FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - Investigators are looking into what caused a SUV fire that nearly trapped a disabled veteran in his vehicle. The veteran and his wife had just gotten it converted to fit his wheelchair six weeks before the fire.
Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes returned to the scene of the crash Thursday and the burn marks on the ground were still visible.
The couple told Fernandes they did not want to pull over because they thought it was dangerous but the SUV was already on fire.
"I had my doubts as to whether I was gonna get out or not," said U.S. Navy war veteran Lewis Brown. Brown has had multiple sclerosis for decades and he needs his wheelchair at all times.
He told Fernandes he’s had nightmares nearly every night after his SUV caught fire, and he barely got out. He gave Fernandes photos from that February night.
"I just thought I would never make it out," he said.
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He and his wife were driving along Highway 54 in Fayetteville when they smelled an electrical fire.
Moments later, they saw flames inside the car.
"When I stopped, and looked over, there was fire right by his foot," his wife said.
They said the flames were in the exact spot where a company converted the suburban to fit Brown’s chair.
The Browns said they believe the wire the conversion company used had something to do with the fire.
"It was fire all over that side, so I don’t know but it was that side," Brown said.
Fernandes did some research on the conversion company and didn’t see any other fire complaints. Fernandes also checked that model of the Chevrolet Suburban and found nothing.
When the SUV was engulfed and Brown was stuck, he told his wife to save herself and leave him there. But after 56 years of marriage, she couldn't do it.
"And he was saying go, but I wasn’t gonna go," his wife said.
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