Tennessee wildfire records tell story of chaos, confusion

  • Source: Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Published: 08/10/2017 12:00 AM

Everything failed in an instant. Severed lines snuffed out power to the command center directing the emergency response to the deadly Gatlinburg wildfires the night of Nov. 28 and plunged firefighting and rescue efforts into darkness and chaos. Sevier County began releasing records Wednesday documenting the confusion caused by the collapse of communications systems as fire swept into the city. Records released earlier by Pigeon Forge and Sevierville — from E-911 calls to radio traffic — also show how those agencies struggled frantically to protect their communities and help save Gatlinburg while blinded, hobbled and struck deaf by one critical system failure after another.


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