WEARS VALLEY, TENN. - It was a narrow escape for the Chasslene and Jonathan Bryant family out of their Wears Valley home Monday night.
Officials say about 70 homes have been destroyed in the Wears Valley community, including the Bryant’s.
Chasslene, Jonathan, their four kids and two dogs made it out of the home, but when they were getting ready to evacuate, their two cats couldn’t be found in time to escape.
“My husband was running downstairs, he was screaming, ‘Get in the car, get in the car!’” Chasslene Bryant said.
When they family returned home on Tuesday, they were greeted by destruction.
“We kind of expected it, but your mind can’t see it any other way until you see it,” Chasslene said.
Wildfire spreads to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge
The family found one of their cats Tuesday, and went back to their Hidden Lake Estates home again on Wednesday to search for their remaining missing pet.
“We got one yesterday and we came back for him today, and here he is! He’s shocked. He’s really shocked,” Chasslene said.
The cat’s name is “Awesome.”
“He used to walk when he was a kitten on his hind legs and that’s how he got his name, because he did all these awesome things,” Chasslene said.
This cat has done awesome things all his life – including surviving a wildfire.
“I was scared when it happened. I was crying,” one of the Bryant daughters said.
The family is feeling better now that they have all of their pets back.
The Bryants have lived in Wears Valley for about five years but just moved into the Hidden Lake Estates home in June. Now, it’s gone.
“I don’t even own a spoon. I don’t own a toothbrush, but these babies, my family, you know, I have them, and to me, I feel lucky,” Chasslene said. “I don’t care what was in there. I have them and I have this community.”
PHOTOS: Aerial view of fire damage in Gatlinburg
(© 2016 WBIR)