Published On: Mon, Dec 5th, 2016

Tennessee fires: James Wood confirms his mother, Alice Hagler killed in Sevier County fire

The Sevier County fires have consumed acres and acres of beautiful land, destroyed homes and sadly, taken lives and Alice Hagler has been confirmed among those killed in the blaze.
Hagler, 70, was confirmed dead by her son, James Wood, telling the press that authorities located her body. The family was highly concerned, last hearing from Alice Monday night, around 8:30 p.m.but the phone disconnected.
Alice Hagler

Alice Hagler

“My mother called me frantically that the house was on fire, yelling that the house was on fire, and I told her to get out of the house,” Wood said, recounting the call he received at work. Wood then raced up the burning mountain to the home in the Chalet Village area on Piney Butt Loop in Gatlinburg.

Flames finally blocked the road, a stranger turned him around. He believes if he’d gone any further – he wouldn’t have made it.

“I just remember his eyes the look on his face saying im not leaving you, I’ll help you turn around. You’re coming down. Just thank you. Thank for you thinking of me when I couldn’t think for myself. A godsend,” Wood recalled.

“I made my best to get to her,” Wood said. “The fires were absolutely, entirely impossible to get through up on Wiley Oakley Road. I did make it to the road, but two miles up I couldn’t make it any further.”
Wood said his mother had two hip replacements and did not move around very well. He says it’s better to know and have some closure.”For me it’s something to put me at comfort its made it easier than wondering if she was out there and just couldn’t get to me,” he said.

Wood offered thanks and gratitude for the fire crews that tried to reach her and so many others.

“When I was turning around and couldn’t go any further, they were still rushing in, they were doing what no one else could and what no one else would.”


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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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