South Florida

Family Moving to South Florida Loses Everything in U-Haul Truck Fire

A family from Orlando en route to relocate to South Florida said it lost everything after the U-Haul truck they rented caught fire.

Jorge Rodriguez described the incident that occurred March 30 as "the most terrible thing" his family has faced.

The family was seeking a fresh start in South Florida.

Rodriguez said his cousin was driving the U-Haul truck on the Florida Turnpike outside Orlando when they saw smoke.

They pulled over, popped open the hood and saw a fire. They stepped back – painfully watching their possessions erode in flames.

The truck contained furniture, clothes and valuables.

Currently, the family sleeps on air mattresses; sits on a couch found in the garbage and watches television through a set given to them by a family friend, Rodriguez said.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family.

U-Haul released a statement about the incident in which it said it sent $5,000 to the family on Thursday through the customer claims process:

"We sympathize with their loss of personal possessions and are truly sorry this issue stemmed from an apparent equipment issue. We strive to do right by the customer. We sincerely hope the claims process will offer some measure of reparation, and we will work to try to earn back the family's trust in the future."

An independent adjuster will inspect the family's damaged contents, U-Haul said.

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