GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Two minors face aggravated arson charges after the deadly Tennessee wildfire that began in late November, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn.
Additional charges are being considered, 4th District Attorney General James Dunn says, including the possibility of seeking a transfer to adult criminal court.
Fourteen people lost their lives in the fires and about 134 were injured, according to investigators. Residents and visitors to the resort-heavy area were among the dead, many of whom were trapped and unable to escape.
Lyle Wood says he was on the phone with his mother when the flames raced towards her house.
“Things went from the winds picking up to the last phone call she made to my brother was the fact that she was really scared and frantic because the house was actually on fire at that point,” Wood says. His mother, Alice Hagler, died in her home.
The first reports of the blaze came in Wedneday, November 23 from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. By the following Monday, the wildfire began to destroy parts of tourist heavy areas like Gatlinburg.