MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — Carteret County Crime Stoppers is now offering a reward of up to $1,500 for information leading to an arrest in an early morning fire that left two cars completely destroyed in Morehead City. Deputies are calling the fire arson and anyone with information is asked to call Detective Greg Mason at 252-728-8400 or Crime Stoppers at 252-726-INFO.
A Morehead City family is concerned after an early morning fire left both of their cars completely destroyed in what they believe was a targeted attack.
Shortly after midnight Saturday, Samantha Ratliff and her husband woke up to find both of their cars ablaze outside of their home.
“My husband woke me up around 12:45 a.m. and said ‘something’s wrong, something’s wrong babe, get up’,” Ratliff said. “I opened the blind to my window and I saw both cars on fire. That’s an image I will never be able to forget.”
After getting her two young daughters to safety, Ratliff called 911.
The cars, a new Dodge Challenger and 2013 Chevy, were completely destroyed. All that remains are their charred frames with their headlights, mirrors and tires melted from the fire.
What angers Ratliff the most is the fact that her daughters could have been killed. Their bedroom, as well as the master bedroom, is located mere feet from where the cars caught on fire.
“Seeing my cars on fire through my bedroom window and knowing that we could have died, my children could have died if my husband hadn’t woke up, it’s too much,” Ratliff said.
Their garage door and its frame also began to melt from the heat of the flames.
Ratliff says she just wants to know who would do this.
“I just want to know why,” she said. “Why would you do this to my husband and my kids?”
The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this incident as arson. They haven’t released any information about the case yet.
Even after all of the trauma, Ratliff says she can still find hope. The family’s American flag, positioned just to the right of the Chevy, didn’t even get singed from the fire.
If you have information about this incident, you’re asked to contact local law enforcement.