Another victim of Gatlinburg wildfire identified; City opens to residents Wednesday

(Courtesy: Mark Nagi/TDOT via WATE)
(Courtesy: Mark Nagi/TDOT via WATE)

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Another victim of the wildfire in Gatlinburg was identified by officials on Tuesday.

According to a press release, Robert Hejny, 63, was discovered at the Traveler’s Inn and Suites on Ski Mountain Road.

Hejn is one of 14 people killed in the massive blaze and the 13th to be identified. Below is a list of every victim so far from WATE:

The announcement comes a day before property and business owners, rents, and lease holders will be allowed to return to the city full-time.

The city opens to residents and occupants at 7 a.m. Wednesday through Highway 321. Officials say a curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday.

And on Friday, Gatlinburg plans to reopen for business to the general public at 7 a.m. Major roadways are expected to be open but some city roadways may remain closed.

To date, there have been 160 injuries and illnesses related to the fire, and over 1,780 structures were damaged or destroyed.

Officials say as of Wednesday, there are 24 crews, 45 fire engines, 4 helicopters, 2 dozers, and 719 people fighting the Chimney Top 2 fire, which is 64 percent contained. The Cobbly Nob fire is 53 percent contained.

Officials also said the Chimney Top 2 fire is not spreading as of now.

The Spur parkway is open only from Pigeon Forge to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center.

According to a press release, water usage from the firefighting activities and loss from fire-damaged structures has greatly affected the water supply.

Due to the substantial loss of water in certain storage tanks and water lines, it may appear cloudy or discolored for a period of time.

The water supply for the downtown area has stabilized and is at full capacity. Water service in the east Gatlinburg area was not affected by this event.

Due to severe fire damage to certain water system pumping stations, the following residential areas are temporarily still out of water service:

  • Greystone Heights Road
  • Cliff Branch Road
  • Loop Road
  • Topside Drive and Topside Road
  • Little Fox Road
  • Forest Springs Drive and Forest Springs Lane
  • Spring Drive
  • Silverbell Heights
  • Silverbell Lane (above intersection with Loop Road)
  • Foothills Drive
  • Kings Way, both sides and outside city limits
  • Colt Lane
  • Mountain Stream Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)
  • Gatlinburg Falls Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)
  • Great Smoky Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)

Also on Tuesday, a website called “Mountain Tough” was launched to connect people who need help with all the resources they need, as well as show volunteers how they can donate their time or money. Visit MountainTough.org for more.

Click here for complete coverage of the Sevier County wildfire.