Belmont County Native Reacts to Devastating Gatlinburg Fires


Two teens are facing charges for starting the fires in Tennessee as the people who live there are trying to figure out how to move on with their lives.

A Belmont County native who lives in Pigeon Forge, less than 10 miles from Gatlinburg, experienced the events first hand.

After seeing the devastation, Shadow Lane Montag jumped into help those who have been displaced by the fires.

“The fires were crazy that night. I left work and there was just smoke everywhere,” said Montag.

Some were on vacation when their homes and all of their belongings were destroyed.

“They may have lost everything, those people still consider themselves blessed. You don’t know what to say, you just got to be there for them,” Montag added.

Many of those people who have been displaced have been staying in shelters or with family members, like Mike Mapple who was happy to finally return home see what was left.

“Getting back cleaning up sleeping in your own bed checking on things,” said Mappe.

People are getting by because everyone is working together for the common good of their community/

“They call Tennessee the Volunteer State for a reason, and it really showed. I mean the outpouring support for these fire victims and their families is unbelievable,” said Montag.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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