“Everything’s on fire. Every. Single. Cabin.”

Those are words spoken by a resident trying to escape from the fire in the Chalet Village area near Gatlinburg, Tennessee as he drove down a road with fire on both sides.

The scenes shown in the video above were recorded by people evacuating after a wildfire had already ignited both sides of the road they were hoping to use as an escape route. Trees across the road, felled by the 80 mph winds or the fire, or both, blocked the road at various points. The voice in the video said they received no warning about the fire. It was uploaded to YouTube on November 29, 2016. Warning: the video has some four-letter words.

The second video includes scenes of burning structures, apparently shot by Bradley County Fire Rescue.

The next video shows some of the destruction in the wake of the wildfire that burned through the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area on Monday, November 28 and 29.

For the most current information about the Chimney Tops 2 Fire at Gatlinburg, see our articles tagged “Chimney 2 Fire”.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills.

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8 thoughts on ““Everything’s on fire. Every. Single. Cabin.””

  1. I know the man said he received no warning, and I certainly understand his distress! I am NOT criticizing him AT ALL, and am SO THANKFUL he escaped that hellish scene! But I live nearby, and have followed everything closely, and I just don’t want anyone out there to think that the firefighters, mayor, and park personnel were not working as hard as they could to save people and property. This fire was a conflagration set in a perfect storm…I don’t think anyone could have prevented this outcome. These people on the front lines are heroes!

    1. i couldn’t agree more,though i’m in california,i know all too well how people can rant and rave about how no one is doing anything,or that it took too long to respond,i just tell them to go fight fire for a season ,then come back and tell me what “we” (as firefighters) should have done.

    2. What suppression efforts were made in the first couple days?I have read water drops began Sunday, 3 or 4 days after the fire originated. Prayers for all involved.

      1. This chimney tops area is just what it says. Rocks up the side of the mountain in the Grat Smokies that looks like rock chimneys so it wasn’t possible to work on ground.Then winds came ahead of rain getting up to 87 miles an hour which whipped the flames causing a fire storm. In my area in NC we had fire in Lake Lure/ Chimney Rock an the never lost a home or person because the weather never got bad. There were bad fires in other parts of Western NC and thanks to the firemen no homes were lost. This was a tragic set of circumstances no one could help. Months of no rain and trees some still had dead leaves on them.

  2. I agree with Sandy that everything is being done that can physically be done. Interesting the complaints he verbalized yet he didn’t seem to help the car in front of him with any details of what was behind him, nor did he stop to warn the people trying to evacuate that the way they tried previously was impassable to enhance their chances of survival…I guess this is what they mean when it is said, every man for himself. Although that was a terrifying experience and I’m glad they made it, perhaps those he passed that were still packing did not.

    1. i’m hoping its not that memphis family they left behind. because they did die trying to leave Chalet village.. when their car became stuck..
      ever since i watched that video… i thought OMG what happened to those people… did they just push them out of the way and leave them behind??

  3. I am so sorry for everyone’s loss and for the destruction of the beautiful land of Tennessee. I visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge on vacation 4 times with my daughter and sister and her family. I have never met more friendlier people in my 62 years of life. To watch these fires and to see Tennessee being destroyed like that deeply broke my heart. I pray for each and everyone of you beautiful people. May God be with you all.

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