Murfreesboro firefighter remembers Gatlinburg wildfires 6 months later

Justin McCraven (Photo: WKRN)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – After several months of renovation, the Gatlinburg Sky Life reopened on Friday.

It’s been six months since the devastating Smoky Mountain fires – and it deeply touched a group of firefighters in Murfreesboro.

For one of those firefighters, Justin McCraven – he was called to step in when the wildfires blazed out of control as the Gatlinburg Fire Department was stretched beyond its limits.

Justin McCraven (Photo: WKRN)

“They couldn’t fathom the idea that so many dozens of departments came just to help them out,” said McCraven. “Listening to front line stories from the guys that were there when it all began was mind blowing.”

McCraven also said he’s kept in touch by email with many of the Gatlinburg firefighters.  It’s a place he never visited before the fires, but hopes to go back there soon.

Crews came from all over Tennessee to help.

Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue sent 50 people to help – a gesture that meant a lot to weary firefighters.