Rebuilding efforts underway in Gatlinburg, Sevier Co. following wildfires


SERVE THE ONGOING NEEDS OF FIRE VICTIMS. AMAZING. IT REALLY IS. WITH THE HELP OF WHAT SHE CALLS HER FAMOUS FRIENDS AS WELL. THAT IS WONDERFUL. MANY ARE DONATING TIME AND TALENT JUST TO HELP PEOPLE OUT IN THE REBUILDING EFFORTS. EMOTIONAL SCARS. THEY ARE THERE FOR THE FIRE VICTIMS. THE TEAMS ARE GIVING THEM PHYSICAL REMINDERS THAT GOOD TIMES ARE AHEAD. Reporter: VIBRANT GREENERY ON THE MOUNTAIN TOPS IN GATLINBURG ARE A SIGN OF A CHANGING SEASON. SPRING HAS ARRIVED. NESTLED IN THE GREEN IS A MUCH DARKER COLOR AS SHADES OF BLACK AND GRAY COVER HOMES, TREES, AND EVEN BUSINESSES, ALL SCORCHED BY FIRE. WE RAN UP THE DRIVEWAY. THERE WAS FIRE ON BOTH SIDES. THERE WAS FIRE ALL AROUND OUR HOUSE. NOVEMBER 28 IS A NIGHT DONNA PATRICK SAYS SHE WILL NEVER FORGET AS THE WILDFIRES PROMPTED A MANDATORY EVACUATION OF GATLINBURG. TRYING TO MAKE OUR WAY DOWN OUT OF TOWN WHICH TOOK A NUMBER OF HOURS BECAUSE EVERYBODY WAS LEAVING. IT WAS A VERY SCARY EXPERIENCE. Reporter: IT’S A FIRE THAT WOULD LEAVE 14 PEOPLE DEAD AND MORE THAN 2400 BUILDINGS DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. PATRICK’S HOME IS JUST ONE OF THOSE LEVELED BY FLAMES. YOU DIDN’T REALLY BELIEVE IT UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY SAW IT. WE HEARD IT WAS GONE, BUT WE DIDN’T KNOW. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? WE HAD TO SEE IT OURSELVES. COMING AND SEEING IT WAS DEVASTATING. Reporter: SIX MONTHS LATER, THE FOCUS ISN’T ON WHAT’S LEFT BUT ON WHAT’S YET TO COME. LAST MONTH, OGLE BROKE GROUND ON A BRAND NEW HOME IN THE VERY SPOT WHERE FIRE DESTROYED IT IN NOVEMBER. I AM 76 YEARS OLD. I NEVER HAD TO ASK FOR ANYTHING. NOW I AM GETTING IT FROM EVERYONE. Reporter: A NEW CHAPTER MADE POSSIBLE THANKS TO ORGANIZATIONS LIKE APPALACHIAN SERVICE. WE ARE WORKING ON OTHER SITES GETTING PERMITS. WE ARE READY TO GET STARTED. Reporter: THE COUNTY MAYOR SAYS THIS IS ONE OF MANY SIGNS THAT RECOVERY EFFORTS ARE WELL UNDERWAY. WE ARE UP TO 70% AS FAR AS ISSUING CLEAN UP PERMITS ON HOMES IN THE COUNTY THAT WERE DESTROYED AND WE’VE GOT ABOUT 120 REBUILD PERMITS ALREADY. IT’S SO GREAT TO SEE THE PEOPLE GETTING BACK ON THEIR

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