CROSSVILLE Tenn. (WATE) — As multiple fires have spread across East Tennessee, the Renegade Mountain Fire left some people without a home.
The wildfire started Wednesday afternoon spreading nearly 300 acres. Residents were evacuated from the area but while many were able to return to their homes. Gloria Hutcherson was not.
“There are no words to say because now we can see the devastation,” she said. “There’s really nothing here and I’m really… you know, just hurting.”
Dry weather, high wind speeds, and fallen leaves have created the perfect storm in East Tennessee to fuel wildfires.
Hutcherson’s neighbor Kimberly Reeves explained the situation to be terrifying.
“I just literally remember screaming ‘fire’ and running and someone was talking about running in and getting their valuables and I said, ‘absolutely not we need to get out of here’ and so I went and rescued my little dog and with the clothes on my back headed out just to get away from it,” said Reeves.
For Hutcherson, all she has left is the memories of her home.
“I think it is still just setting in, in me or my husband or my son but uh it’s going to take a while… we owned this for 35 years… we have a lot of memories,” said Hutcherson.
Despite the devastation, Hutcherson and her neighbors are hopeful for the future of their community.
“We’re going to continue to stay here, and we’re going to, you know build it back… and you know it is definitely something that is tragic and heartbreaking but I’m definitely not leaving,” said Reeves.