Family: Missing mother found dead after Gatlinburg fires

Alice Hagler
Alice Hagler (Source: family)

GATLINBURG (WATE) – Family members confirm to WATE 6 On Your Side that missing woman Alice Hagler was found dead in her cabin. Authorities have not yet discussed her death.

Her sons spent two days searching for her. Hagler called her sons, James and Lyle Wood, at 6:30 p.m. Monday night.

“She was scared about the winds that were blowing. She said she felt like her house was going to blow down and that there was ash in the air,” said Lyle’s wife Rachel Wood

Hagler was at her home on Wiley Oakley Drive in Gatlinburg. The firestorm was brewing nearby.

Two hours later they got another phone call.

“Things went from windy and ashy to, we got a call at 8:30 that said the house was on fire,” said Lyle Wood.

That was the last brothers heard from their mother.

“She was frantic. She was scared,” Lyle Wood said.

Related: Gatlinburg father searches for wife, daughters after fire

A search ensued. Lyle Wood and his wife Rachel drove up from Georgia to help James Wood find her, surrounded by concerned community members and first responders.

“They were finally able to make it up on the mountain Tuesday night at 12:00. We knew the house was destroyed and her car was there,” said James Wood.

“We got to the place where we kind of knew, you know,” Lyle Wood said.

Still, hope lingered.

“And then we got news yesterday that three people were pulled off the mountain alive and thought man maybe she’ll be one of those folks. :06 and unfortunately she wasn’t,” said Lyle Wood.

James Wood got the phone call no one wanted.

“About between 6:00 and 7:00 last night the sheriff’s department gave us a call,” he said. “She was there at the house and never made it out.”

Alice Hagler perished in her home that she shared with James.

Now the brothers are focused on healing each other and the community.

“We’re okay but keep thinking about everybody else also that’s going to need help down the way,” said James Wood.

“We have felt so loved and I know that comes from God taking care of us,” Rachel Wood said.

In the midst of their own tragedy they are looking to spread good will to others.

“A lot of people are hurting,” said James Wood.

Related: Intense video shows Gatlinburg fires from frontlines

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