GATLINBURG (WATE) – The National Park Service and the Gatlinburg Police Department gave WATE 6 On Your Side a private tour of the fire damage earlier on Tuesday.
Just about four or five miles from Rocky Top Sports World, devastation lines Highway 321. Flames are still visible. An auto parts store, a sports utility rental shop and a wedding chapel are all gone.
Landmarks like the Alamo Resturant were destroyed by the flames that ripped through Monday night. Flames are still shooting from the restaurant, a clear sign that these fires are far from over. Hot sports could continue the battle for days to come.
More coverage: Wildfires
No Way Jose Cantina and the Greystone Lodge appear to be intact, but getting everyone out of the hotel during evacuations was a difficult task.
“Around 6:30 or 7 when we were coming out this way, there was a lot of fire. The fire was actually coming down Greystone Heights Road behind Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies,” said Jackie Leatherwood with Greystone Lodge. “A lot of paramedics, a lot of firemen.”
The National Guard brought some hope later on Tuesday as they rolled into town, barrelling through the unusually empty streets.
Ripley’s Aquarium and its animals were not damaged or hurt in the fire, but many were concerned. The fire tore down the mountain behind the aquarium, just stopping at the parking garage.