Published On: Mon, Dec 5th, 2016

Canadian couple, John Tegler, Marilyn Tegler killed in Tennessee wildfire

A couple from Canada were killed while trying to escape the wildfires in Gatlinburg, authorities have confirmed.

John Tegler, 71, and wife Marilyn Tegler, 70, were from Woodstock, Ontario. They had spent Thanksgiving at their home in Chalet Village with one of their three children. The new report confirms that the couple died trying to escape the fires which consumed their their vacation home in the Smoky Mountains

“I was the only one down here with my parents. I wanted to go (to Gatlinburg) for Thanksgiving and so we went there for Thanksgiving. But I live in Roswell, Ga., and I had to go back to work on Monday. So my parents stayed up there and they were planning on leaving Monday morning except the road back over was closed. They couldn’t get out, and then this happened,” said Jessica Tegler.

John and Marilyn Tegler

John and Marilyn Tegler

Jessica recounted that the when the fires broke out, the couple attempted to flee with their dog, Tucker, but they didn’t make it.

“They love the outdoor area and the scenery and all of that. My dad was really into golfing, he loves to golf.  He loves to be outdoors. He loves to fix things construciontwise. He loves to build,” she said. “My mom, she loves spending time with family. She idolized all of us. She enjoyed shopping with us, going out with us. She spent a lot of time at home.  We also had a dog and a cat. The dog also passed away. But my parents idolized that dog. They took him everywhere.”

They couple would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year.

Jessica added that “They cared so much about their family. They would have done anything in the world for us. They always put all of us ahead of themselves. That would be the biggest thing.”

Son-in-law Dave Lapointe says family members got the news about the Taglers Thursday night, after going more than three days without hearing from them.

Their last contact came in the form of a text message, in which the Teglers said they were evacuating their home.

“They were together, and they were in a place they liked to be,” Lapointe said.

Lapointe says the Teglers were found “just around the corner” from their home, on foot.

“All of us here at the Woodstock Fire Department are keeping the Tegler family in our thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time,” the city’s deputy fire chief, Jeff Slager, said in a statement to CTV News.


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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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