breaking news

Clark County Fair Schedule: Find out what’s happening every day

Wildfires in Tennessee: Man 'hoping for a miracle' after losing touch with wife, daughters


A Tennessee man is "hoping for a miracle," after going 24 hours without speaking to his wife or either of his young daughters as wildfires burn through Sevier County.

>> Read more trending stories

Michael Reed told WBIR that he and his son Nicholas, 15, were out for a drive Monday night when they learned that their home on Wiley Oakley Road in Gatlinburg was under threat.

In the home was Reed's wife, Constance, and his daughters Lily, 9, and Chloe, 12.

>> Related: Wildfires ravage Tennessee: 5 things to know

"I spoke with them at 8:15 p.m. last night," he told the Knoxville News Sentinel on Tuesday. "They said there were flames across the street. I told them to call 911 and get out, and that was the last I heard from them."

He told WATE that he and his son tried to drive back into Gatlinburg, but were unable to make it back. They were instead evacuated to LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, where Reed has been anxiously awaiting the sight of his family.

>> Related: Gatlinburg wildfire threatens Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies; employees forced to abandon building

A friend drove Reed to his home Tuesday, where he found his family's home destroyed.

"When we finally made our way back into Gatlinburg to try to get to her, all of Wiley Oakley was gone," Reed told WATE. "It was completely on fire."

There were signs that his wife and children managed to evacuate before flames engulfed the house, Reed told the news station, but his efforts to find them were hampered by the ongoing emergency response efforts. He told the News Sentinel that he was trying to reach out to someone at Rocky Top Sports Complex in Gatlinburg. The sports complex is being used as an evacuation shelter.

>> Related: Popular Tennessee tourist destinations Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge evacuated due to wildfires

"I just want to find them," he told the newspaper through tears.

Emergency management officials estimated that more than 14,000 people were evacuated overnight Monday in Gatlinburg alone.

The fires have caused serious injuries and deaths.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Verizon backpack giveaway 2017: Some locations giving away free backpack with school supplies
Verizon backpack giveaway 2017: Some locations giving away free backpack with school supplies

Certain Verizon Wireless Zone locations will be giving away free backpacks full of school supplies on Sunday.  Through the “School Rocks Backpack Giveaway” program, Wireless Zone, along with TCC and the Culture of Good, have prepared more than 235,000 backpacks to be handed out to children in locations around the country. The backpacks...
Overnight storm destroys new outbuilding near South Charleston
Overnight storm destroys new outbuilding near South Charleston

A storm passing through early this morning knocked down trees and ripped apart an outbuilding near South Charleston. Meanwhile, about three dozen residents in Huber Heights are waiting to have power restored after a storm brought down a large tree and snapped a utility pole Friday morning. Steve Gladman, who lives in the 5700 block of Platsburg Road...
Clark County stress hand washing, other tips at fair to stop swine flu
Clark County stress hand washing, other tips at fair to stop swine flu

Clark County Fair organizers and the Ohio Department of Agriculture want fair visitors to take precautions against the spread of swine flu. That’s in hopes of preventing a situation that happened at the Clinton County Fair — where pigs infected with the H3N2v strain of the virus were found. The Clark County Fair began Friday and continues...
State adds 11,500 jobs in June

Ohio’s unemployment rate rose slightly in June to 5 percent, as the state added 11,500 jobs. The number of unemployed in the state has gradually risen by about 10,000 people in the past 12 months, even as the state added 56,800 jobs, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Friday. Government employment led job growth for the month...
Louis Tomlinson heeds dying mother's wish, reconciles with ex-bandmate Zayn Malik
Louis Tomlinson heeds dying mother's wish, reconciles with ex-bandmate Zayn Malik

Louis Tomlinson said he honored a special request from his dying mother last December: The One Direction member reconciled with former bandmate Zayn Malik. >> Read more trending news The Sun reported that before her death from leukemia at age 42, Johannah Deakin initiated a secret reconciliation between her son and Malik, who had not spoken to...
More Stories