Death Toll Rises To 11 In Sevier County Wildfires

Family ID's Woman Killed In Gatlinburg Fire
Posted at 10:33 AM, Nov 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 04:40:32-05

The death toll of the Sevier County wildfire has risen to eleven after crews recovered three more people from a home.

Flames spread through the Gatlinburg area Monday night, burning hundreds of homes and businesses.

More than 14,000 people were forced to evacuate Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, as wind gusts of almost 90 mph pushed the flames down from the mountains.  

According to CBS Knoxville affiliate WVLT, Alice Hagler was identified as one of the victims. Her son, Lyle, confirmed that she was last seen at her on Piney Butt Loop in Gatlinburg.

She was reported missing Tuesday after her family had not heard from her.   

A Memphis couple, Jon and Janet Summers, who were vacationing with their three sons, were also killed. Their sons - Branson, Jared and Wesley Summers – were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment. 

Three people, who where trapped by the fire, were rescued Wednesday.

Two people were rescued from an elevator at the Westgate resort. Officials said they became trapped when the power went down during their evacuation process. They were able to get work to 911 dispatchers, who sent crews to the resort.

The other rescue was from a home on Ski Mountain.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has set up a hotline (1-800-TBI-FIND) to coordinate growing reports of missing persons. Callers need to provide as much identifying information as possible, including names, phone numbers, vehicle identification, and last known whereabouts. 

Officials urged the public to only call the hotline if you are someone who's in regular, daily contact with the missing person.

An official with the Smoky Mountain National Park said the fire burned a total of 15,736 acres of Park. However, the good news he gave was that Elkmont and LeConte lodges were not damaged.

Park officials set up a Facebook page for them to get out updated information on the fire damage between press conferences.

City and county officials said a total of 700 structures have been damaged or destroyed, which includes 300 in the city of Gatlinburg and 400 in Sevier County.

The state has been stepping in to help those who've lost their jobs in this fire.

Those with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development have set up a location in Pigeon Forge and will provide computers and internet service so people can file unemployment claims.

You can find them Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 149 Cates Lane in Pigeon Forge.

Employers have also been encouraged to file a "mass layoff list." For more information on how to file a claim or a mass layoff list, click here.

All schools were set to be open Thursday and Friday except for two: Pi Beta Phi Elementary School and Gatlinburg-Pittman High School.

Senator Lamar Alexander spoke on the senate floor Wednesday about the tragedy in the smokies.