We’re learning more about an Anderson County man’s act of heroism when a fire engulfed his home. While Gregory Gremillion was able to save his wife, sadly he wasn’t able to save his sister-in-law or himself.
The deadly fire happened around 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Gremillions’ home in Rocky Top off Scott Brogan Lane.
Investigators say Mr. Gremillion first pulled his wife, Marianne Gremillion, out of the home and went back in to save her special needs sister, Sharon Worrill. Sadly, they didn’t make it out.
On Thursday the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said based on their preliminary report, it appears the fire was caused by an electrical outlet inside the home.
“From the moment I was told, I knew exactly what happened,” said Jacob Gremillion.
His childhood home was taken in that fire, as well as the lives of his dad and his aunt. A tragedy he is still processing.
“The fact that people have poured out as much love as they have is a big help,” he said.
Gremillion met with WATE 6 On Your Side on Friday because he says he doesn’t want his dad or aunt remembered just as fire victims.
He says his Aunt Sharon gave the best hugs and loved everyone, “She was the sweetest woman in the whole world. She was part of my whole life.”
Gregory Gremillion, Jacob’s dad, grew up in Louisiana, was retired after years of painting on construction sites and was simply funny, says his son.
“Me and dad had gotten really close. He wasn’t just ‘Dad.’ If I didn’t have anybody else to talk to, I’d bring Annabelle out here, me and Dad would go sit on the porch and he’d ask, ‘What’s going on?’ Even if I didn’t want to tell him, he was always there,” said Gremillion.
His parents had been married nearly 40 years.
“The way they would look at each other, they didn’t always show it, but if you caught those moments, it said it all.”
Gremillion says there’s peace knowing his mom was saved and she’s recovering at the hospital. But the family is still in shock, trying to make sense of what happened. Still, they’re proud of the heroism their dad showed that night.
“He’d say it’s just what anybody should do. What he would hope anyone would do. He loved Sharon, he loved mom to death. He did everything he could and he’d do it again,” added Gremillion.
The family says at this point they’re working on funeral and memorial arrangements. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral costs.