PIGEON FORGE - Two people had to jump off a balcony to escape an early morning fire at a cabin on Blackberry Ridge Way in Pigeon Forge.
According to Fire Chief Tony Watson, the fire started sometime between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m.
Three cabins were burned during the fire, one of which was destroyed.
“I looked in the window and I saw the flames. So all I said was ‘Dear Lord, here we go again,’” Teresa Aparicio said.
Aparicio lives a few blocks from the fire and owns a cabin adjacent to the engulfed structure. The cabin she and her husband owned is leased to a long term tenant and was damaged in the fire.
14 people from North Carolina were staying in the destroyed cabin, which was a rental property. All 14 were able to get out of the home. Chief Watson said two were injured when they jumped off the balcony to escape. Both have since been treated and released from a local hospital.
“We have these problems with these cabins. They’re very beautiful for folk to stay in, and you take some folks that are in these cabins that are not familiar with the layout of the home and you have a fire start, so it complicates their ability to get out,” Chief Watson said.
Two cars also burned. Officials said a small brush fire was started, but has been put out.
Crews are still working to determine the cause.
Chief Watson said his main message to take from this is "smoke detectors and fire sprinklers save lives."
To help calm peoples' nerves, one firefighter went out and purchased Easter baskets for the children in those homes.
Aparicio credits the first responders' efforts with preventing another catastrophe.
“They did an amazing job. With the wind, this could have been more than just two cabins. It could have been and entire subdivision, but I guess we learned a lot from November and also their heart was into what they were doing,” Aparicio said. “I’m very thankful to God there were no human casualties.”
The people who were in the home declined to be interviewed but said they are extremely grateful that everyone is ok tonight.
© 2017 WBIR.COM