breaking news

SPECIAL REPORT: Did you know the Dayton community helped build Good Samaritan Hospital?

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

Grandson surprises grandfather with restored 1957 Chevy
Grandson surprises grandfather with restored 1957 Chevy

Fred Lamar’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sat in a garage, just as he left it, for 30 years. Until about a year ago, when his grandson, Cameron Dedman, started restoring the iconic Motor City machine. On Saturday, Lamar, 81, nearly passed out when the car was revealed to him. “I have been doing a full frame off restoration of this car a big surprise...
Is feeding a cold a real thing? 5 winter health myths debunked
Is feeding a cold a real thing? 5 winter health myths debunked

You've probably heard winter health myths for years and you may have even accepted some of them as fact. From being told to bundle up, so you don't catch a cold to your neighbor swearing he got the flu from his flu shot, these myths make the rounds every winter. Mom always warned you you'd get sick if you didn't bundle up before heading out in cold...
Teen accused of killing acquaintance who sold him paprika instead of pot 
Teen accused of killing acquaintance who sold him paprika instead of pot 

A Utah teenager has been charged as an adult in a homicide that police investigators said took place after another teen sold him cooking spices instead of marijuana. Seth Carreras, 17, of Layton, was moved into the adult population at the Davis County Jail earlier this month, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. He is being held without bail on...
2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections
2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections

Two of the newest ships in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet have received failing grades in health inspections designed to control the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses.  Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze both scored below a passing grade of 86, the Miami Herald reported.Vista, the cruise line's newest ship, received a 79 while Breeze...
Reports: North and South Korea to form joint Olympic team, march together in opening ceremony
Reports: North and South Korea to form joint Olympic team, march together in opening ceremony

South Korea and North Korea have agreed to create a joint Olympic team and march together in the opening ceremony in the next Winter Olympics, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. The two countries met for the second time in a week Monday to discuss the possibility of creating a joint ice hockey team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang...
More Stories