ROSSVILLE, GA (WRCB) - Just days into the new year, a North Georgia family is without a home.

Fire ripped through the home on Greens Lake Circle just before 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, taking most of what the family owned.

"They say the Lord can take something away from you in a blink of an eye, and I guess this is the Lord's will," said Josh Cabbs, standing in disbelief outside his Rossville home. "All this happened for a reason."

Josh Cabbs can't imagine what that reason could be.

He says he was asleep on the couch when the fire started.

It took all but the clothes on his back.

"I smelt something earlier. You know, like plastic burning or something," he told Channel 3. "I didn't think much of it. Next thing I know, there was a lady knocking on my door saying the house was on fire."

The knock on the door alerted Josh and two other family members to the fire.

His grandfather, who was at a doctor's appointment when the fire broke out, says that knock at the door saved his family.

"If I could find them I'd shake their hand, because they saved three lives," said Burnette, who has lived on Greens Lake Circle for 15 years.

A motorcycle and the family's car were spared.

Everything else, including Burnette's dog, is gone.

"Me and my grandfather were going to try to run in and try to save her, but by then it was too smokey," cringed Cabbs.

"My wife died three years ago and that's about the only thing I had left of her," cried Burnette.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross will give the family of five a place to sleep tonight, but Josh Cabbs worries what will happen after that.

His grandfather has lung cancer. His mother is battling colon cancer, and now the family is without a home.

"I just need help," Cabbs said desperately, "just help, please."

Fort Oglethorpe fire officials aren't sure what started the fire, only that it originated in the back of the house.

The Georgia State Fire Marshal's Office will be on site tomorrow to investigate.

The family says they did have home owner's insurance.


Christie Steele

(706) 996-3130