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Friday, May 25, 2018

Smokies lawsuit
Two survivors of the Smoky Mountains wildfires in late 2016, have filed a federal lawsuit blaming employees of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park . The lawsuit was filed by Michael Reed, whose wife and two daughters died,in the blaze and James England, who lost his home to the flames.The lawsuit asks for $14.8 million in damages. The action alleges that employees of the Smokies park, violated fire-management procedures, failed to prioritize the safety of citizens and property, and failed to notify and warn residents and visitors of the danger of the fires. According to the lawsuit, park officials decided to contain the Chimney Tops 2 flames rather than extinguishing them, despite the very dry conditions. The plaintiffs say the decision not to extinguish the flames was made because the very steep and rocky mountainside was a safety risk to firefighters. Eighty mile per hour winds blew embers into Gatlinburg , downed power lines, and then hopped for miles to the north, sparking more fires. Fourteen people died and about 2,500 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Two juveniles were originally charged in the blaze but the state charges were dropped when it was determined that state courts had no jurisdiction. A park official declined to comment on the lawsuit.


Return to Today's News Stories - Front Page

Monday, August 20, 2018

  • Woodside arrest
  • Blackburn and Bredesen
  • Roe representative in Newport today
  • Gas prices drop slightly

    Sunday, August 19, 2018

  • Forestyr grants available for volunteer fire departments

    Saturday, August 18, 2018

  • Farm Service Agency meet
  • SBA loans available
  • Social Security and livability
  • Jefferson County crash
  • Dover arrest

    Friday, August 17, 2018

  • Moore arrested in threat on Caldwell
  • Bush Brothers fined
  • Cocke County Partnership meet
  • Clint Hammonds
  • Newport/Parrottsville candidates
  • July unemployment
  • Dover arrest

    Thursday, August 16, 2018

  • Speir arrest
  • Cardboard fire
  • Cocke County School Board meet
  • Jefferson City train/car crash
  •    

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