Three more bodies found in Tennessee wildfire ruins, toll at seven
• gatlinburg, tenn.» Three more bodies were found in the ruins of wildfires that torched hundreds of homes and businesses in the Great Smoky Mountains area, raising the death toll to seven, a Tennessee mayor said Wednesday.
Search and rescue missions continued, and Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said they had found three people who had been trapped since the fires started spreading wildly in high winds Monday night. The mayor said the three were OK.
“That is some good, positive news for a change,” he said.
The mayor said authorities are still working to identify the dead and did not release any details about how they were killed. State law enforcement set up a hotline for people to report missing friends and relatives. Officials have not said how many people they believe are missing.
Chief Randall Brackins said Gatlinburg police have searched about 30 percent or less of the city so far.
More than 14,000 people were evacuated from Gatlinburg on Monday night, and many of them are still nervously awaiting word of when they can get back in the city to see if they still have homes.