GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Michael Reed still cannot find his wife and two daughters after being caught in Monday’s evacuation mayhem near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
The wildfires sweeping the eastern part of the state, which claimed 11 lives in separate locations, engulfed Reed’s Gatlinburg home while he and his 15-year-old son Nicholas were away.
It’s not certain whether his wife, Constance, 34; along with daughters Chloe, 12; and Lily, 9, fled the house in time.
“We’re just hoping for a miracle,” Reed told CNN affiliate WATE-TV in Knoxville on Tuesday.
The blaze spread quickly and with little warning.
When Reed heard about the wildfire, he and his son tried to drive back to town.
“We got stuck in traffic at that point, and they wouldn’t let us turn around,” he said.
A few minutes after 8 p.m. Monday, Constance called to tell him “there were flames across the street from our house, and she didn’t know what to do,” Reed said, his voice quivering.
Reed told her to call 911.
He wasn’t able to be there to help his wife and daughters — a painful memory still haunts him.
“That was the last time I talked to her,” he said.