Death toll rises to 13 in Gatlinburg wildfire; Over 1,000 structures damaged

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Officials say 13 people have died as a result of the wildfires in Gatlinburg, including one person who died of a heart attack during their attempt to escape.

According to officials, 85 have been treated from various injuries and many of them have been released from the hospital.

Five of the dead have been identified at this time. They are as follows:

A family identified another victim as Alice Hagler. Her daughter-in-law told WATE they last spoke as the fires neared Hagler’s home, who sounded scared and worried.

Officials also said Friday over 1,000 structures have been damaged or destroyed in Sevier County, hundreds more than previously believed.

PHOTOS: Wildfires burning in East Tennessee

Residents in Gatlinburg will be able to see their property Friday for the first time since the city was evacuated earlier in the week due to the wildfires. They will be allowed inside the city at 10 a.m. but will not be allowed inside their homes or businesses. Emergency personnel said the structures could have been compromised by the fires.

County Mayor Larry Waters said they hope to have Gatlinburg open to the public by next Wednesday.

Crews with the Department of Transporation are working hard to clear debris and open roadways.

 

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has set up a hotline to report missing persons. Anyone who calls the hotline, 1-800-TBI-FIND, should be prepared to relay as much identifying information as possible, including names, phone numbers, vehicle identification and last known whereabouts.

Sevier County has also created a resource website for anyone seeking additional information to help, donate and more. Click here to view the site.