Crews continue to work to stop Gatlinburg wildfires - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Crews continue to work to stop Gatlinburg wildfires

Destructive wildfires have not been limited to the forest.  (Source: Mark Nagi/Twitter) Destructive wildfires have not been limited to the forest. (Source: Mark Nagi/Twitter)

Firefighters continue to work around the clock trying to extinguish the wildfires in Gatlinburg. Three people are now dead and 14 have been hospitalized.

The fires grew out of control Monday night. The Gatlinburg fire Chief said there were more than 14 fires burning at one point.

"It's like hell opened up and started shooting out flames," said Martha Stinatt.

Stinatt lives and works in the heart of Gatlinburg.

Giant flames took over several parts of the town within minutes.

Stinatt is one of thousands forced out of her home, now looking for comfort in a local shelter.

"It was awful cars bumper to bumper, blowing horns. You couldn't see in front of you it was terrifying," she said. 

Kay Morton is also in the shelter after flames took over her street. Firefighters forced her to leave just in time.

"The whole mountain behind me was burning down to the river by the time I got my dog out I have very little hope for my store but I prayed," said Morton.

She doesn't know when she'll be coming back to her home along with thousands of others. The shelter is set up next to the Gatlinburg Community Center.

The Gatlinburg Fire Chief said more than 2,000 people have seeked shelter. He said 150 buildings were destroyed or damaged in the fire, including the Mayors.

"It's a devastating time for Gatlinburg but we're strong we're resilient and we're going to make it," said Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner

The Mayor said the parkway, which is the main commercial area is still in tact.

Right now families are not being told when they can go back to their homes because firefighters are still working to put out all of the fires.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam surveyed some parts of the city on Tuesday and said it was numbing to see all of the damage.

He said there are 400 hundred firefighters from surrounding areas working to put out the flames.

City officials are planning to have a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday to give new updates.

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