Tenn. families standing strong, overcoming immense adversity after fires

7 confirmed deaths, fire only 10 percent contained in Gatlinburg

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. -- The fires in Tennessee continue to burn, but so many residents are moving forward despite the immense adversity they must overcome.

In many cases it is a scene beyond words. That's exactly the case for one family who lost everything.

Jeri and Jeffrey Morgan returned home Wednesday to find their Pigeon Forge dream home destroyed: “My mom and our grandmother’s wedding dress and our pictures and my mom’s hope chest,” Jeri said.

The Morgans had just moved into the home they built 12 weeks ago and recently celebrated a big Thanksgiving there with family. The loss is something they never could have imagined.

“We didn’t really think it was going to do this, this is beyond anything we thought would happen,” Jeffrey said.

The fire had reached their driveway by the time they evacuated, and they said they had to drive through fire to escape.

Even though they lost everything, they thanked firefighters and said they had a lot to be grateful for.

"Yes, we lost everything and we're devastated, but our family's safe. We're all together," Jeri said. "I have a 9-year-old girl and my dad lives with us and we all got out safe.” 

The Morgan’s said they have insurance and will rebuild. And as stories like the Morgan’s begin to emerge and people get a first look at the devastation, area leaders and residents have committed to rebuilding and moving forward. 

PHOTOS | Wildfire spreads to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

(© 2017 WXIA)


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