A driver and passenger barely escaped the wildfires that are ravaging the mountains of Tennessee — and they caught the harrowing drive on camera.
Gatlinburg resident Michael Luciano posted three videos to his Facebook page Monday night showing his narrow escape from the flames that engulfed his community.
“We just got stuck, turning around. There are power lines and trees blocking the road,” Luciano can be heard saying in his first video. “We cannot get out.”
As Luciano and his companion make their way through the forest, visibility lowers and the flames grow.
“Everything is burning around us,” says Luciano. “Every cabin. Everything.”
The much shorter second video shows the land on both sides of the car ablaze. Luciano continues to encourage the driver to keep driving through the smoke and flames to safety.
The third video, Luciano films their arrival at the bottom of the welcome center, stating, “Well, they didn’t give any that lived up there any warning. Not even on the news. We were watching.”
According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, more than 14,000 people have been evacuated from Gatlinburg alone and hundreds are seeking refuge in emergency shelters.
The Sevier County Emergency Management Agency told The Sentinel that more than 100 buildings at the Westgate Resorts, every cabin in the Black Bear Falls area, and numerous other businesses and homes have been engulfed and destroyed by the flames.
Despite the hard work of the firefighters working throughout the night, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency say there is “little hope” of relief anytime soon.