'It's hard to even look at it': Family devastated after flames destroy Cabarrus County home

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — A massive fire destroyed a home on Cold Springs Road in Cabarrus County early Tuesday morning.

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Investigators said a car fire sparked the flames that destroyed everything a family had the week before Christmas.

“Right now it’s hard to even look at it,” said homeowner Lynn Hatley.

Hatley called the bruised and battered house his home for 30 years.

“I’m sort of numb inside. I think when everything quiets down that’s when it’ll hit me,” he said.

Hatley said the first signs of trouble came when he got home from a doctor's appointment and parked his car.

(Video Credit: Mike Williams)

A few minutes later his wife realized their 2002 Buick was on fire.

“My guess is something popped on the fuel line or maybe something shorted out and started it,” he said.

As the wall of fire jumped to the house, Hatley rushed his wife and son to safety.

“I tried to go back in to see if I could get anything, but the smoke got so thick so fast, I just turned around and came back out and that was it,” Hatley said.

It took 20 minutes for the home to be destroyed.

While the fire marshal is trying to figure out what sparked the car fire, neighbors helped by giving Hatley and the rest of his family winter coats.

Firefighters also tried to save his most prized possessions.

“These are our family photos. The top one is our granddaughter,” Hatley said, pointing to his charred pictures.

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While his Christmas gifts for his granddaughter are now gone, Hatley said he’s grateful he’s still here.

“The main thing is she’ll still have us. She lost her other grandfather back on Thanksgiving, so I’m glad she didn’t lose a grandmother and grandfather and uncle at Christmas,” he said.

In the 30 years the family has lived in the house, Hatley said he beat cancer and his wife also lived through her own health issues. He said with the help of family they’ll survive this, too.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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