Gatlinburg evacuees search for veteran who saved their lives

(Courtesy: WATE)
(Courtesy: WATE)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – A Gatlinburg family is searching for the man who saved their lives during last week’s fire.

All they know is that he is a veteran from Cosby who came to Gatlinburg Monday to help people evacuate. April Calhoun said she wants to make sure he is safe and that he knows they’re grateful for what he did.

“We had shirts over the kids’ faces but they were still coughing and choking up but there was fire behind us, in front of us, everywhere,” said Calhoun.

Her family was stranded on the side of the road with fire closing in when a lone stranger picked them up in his truck.

Calhoun said he dropped them off at a shelter and then went back into Gatlinburg to help others. She calls the man her “angel” and someone she wishes could have helped her daughter’a friend.

“My daughter lost her best friend– The Reed Family,” said Calhoun. “She went to school with them and that was one of her best friends, I wish that they could be here and getting the help that we’re getting.”

Eleven-year-old Alexis said Chloe Reed was one of her best friends. She said she was going to go to her birthday party, but Monday was the last time she saw her.

“I found out yesterday and I was really sad when I found out,” explained Alexis. She said she hasn’t thought about what school will be like, but she hopes it will be okay.