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Kenosha mother and sons narrowly escape car explosion, lose all belongings

A Kenosha mother is lucky to have her life after she and her children escaped from a burning vehicle, but all of their belongings went up in flames.

Diamond Thomas says the narrow escape left their family with nothing. Her kids didn't even have shoes on their feet.

Thomas was all set to start a new life.

"My brother lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Me and my two kids were going to pack up and go live with him," said Thomas.

Her 4-year-old son has Sickle cell disease, and she hoped a warmer climate would keep him from getting sick.

"I sold all my furniture, TV, air conditioners, washer, dryer, bedroom set..." said Thomas.

They packed the car with their most important belongings, and hit the road. A few hours later, she would lose everything.

"Everything [was] normal, driving good, no lights on, no check engine light, nothing like that. Something dropped all of a sudden something dropped. I believe it was the engine... when we pulled over, I got out of the truck and I looked underneath the truck. As soon as I looked underneath my truck it was already on fire, it was flames dropping underneath my truck and from that point I said, 'we've got to get the kids out of here,'" said Thomas.

Her brother grabbed the 4-year-old. She went to get the one-year-old.

"There was only one way to get my baby out," said Thomas. "He was in the middle in a carseat, and everyone knows babies they're strapped at the top and at the bottom. So it took me a few second to get him out. The only thing I could hear in my head was, 'Hurry up. Hurry up, Diamond. You have to hurry up and get your son out before this truck blows up.'"

She says about a minute later, the car exploded. Thousands of dollars, birth certificates and other documents, her son's sickle cell medicine, many other items, and even their pet turtle, Alex, all perished in the fire.

Instead of going to Georgia, she went back to an empty house in Kenosha - hoping to return to something familiar for her children - traumatized over the fire. She says the 4-year-old talks about it a lot.

"He'll say, 'Mommy, I miss Alex,' or "What's wrong, Mommy? You miss Alex?" or, "Are you upset about the fire?'" said Thomas.

Now Thomas is starting over, but not the way she thought.

"I have my kids. I have my house, and I'm surrounded by people that love me," said Thomas.

Diamond says she doesn't have more than a couple outfits for her sons, and some of their toys. She does have a GoFundMe page with more information on the items she needs: https://www.gofundme.com/support-thomas-family-fund

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