LIFE

Couple Thought Their Home Was Destroyed By Wildfire. Then A Fireman Surprises Them With A Call

by Nadine DeNinno
Nadine is a writer and editor living in New York City. She has contributed to OK! Magazine, Star Magazine, The International Business Times and House Beautiful. She can name every celebrity dog on Instagram and enjoys ballet, music and a good pun.

In case you missed it, areas of Tennessee had a historic firestorm with thousands of homes destroyed in the unprecedented wildfire in late November.

Authorities said at least 14 people have died as of December 9 and over 2,400 structures have been damaged or destroyed, according to CNN.

Amy and Doug Williams hoped that their mountain retreat in Gatlinburg remained unscathed. The two-story home had been in the family for three generations and meant a lot to them.

When Amy saw photos on social media showing the damage that nearly wiped out the entire town, all she could think about was her precious house.

“All of the images that we saw, it really looked bad,” Doug said. “It looked like there was no way for this house to survive.”

As they waited in their hometown in Bristol, just 115 miles northwest of the disaster, they shared their story with their local news station, begging for information about their second home. Out of nowhere, they received a call.

Volunteer fireman Jerry Redmond had seen their local news broadcast and recognized the home. He wanted to help ensure the family that their home was one of the very few still standing, so he picked up the phone to call the local news station, which put him in touch with the Williamses.

To their delight, Jerry told them their house was almost completely free of damage. He even sent photos to prove it.

“It’s just unbelievable that there are people in this world that will do that for free,” Doug said. “They are the heroes.”

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