One reported killed in early morning house fire

Mar. 23, 2013 @ 03:03 PM

One person was killed but four other occupants escaped when fire broke out at a home on Pleasant View in the Maple Crest subdivision early Saturday morning, officials said.

Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson said the fire was reported around 1:11 a.m., and the caller said victims were trapped inside.

Watson said whe he arrived after other emergency and law enforcement personnel were on the scene, the fire "was 90 percent involved. ... Four folks were able to escape, but one was trapped inside."

Watson referred questions about the identity of the victim and survivors to the Sevier County Sheriff's Department. The Mountain Press was unable to get any information from the sheriff's office.

Watson said it was a single family home in a neighborhood not far from Wears Valley Road. There were reports one person inside was injured breaking glass to escape the fire.

Responding to the fire were departments from Pigeon Forge, Waldens Creek, Sevier County and Wears Valley as well as the sheriff's office and ambulance service.

This was the third major fire handled by Pigeon Forge and other departments in about a week. Last weekend several acres around Dollywood burned, followed a day later by the fire that burned down or damaged some 73 cabins and homes in a Pigeon Forge resort community. Then came the early Saturday morning fatal fire at the home in Maple Crest.

"We all have performed well, but people are tired," Watson said. "We're tired physically and emotionally. We have seen a lot lately, but what I have seen is firefighters encountering and handling some tough conditions. It makes me proud to see how all the guys in all the departments rose to the occasion."

Watson said Sevier County is fortunate to have firefighters both paid and volunteer "with the level of training and dedication that we have. We're very lucky to have the caliber of people we have in place."