Gatlinburg business owner retraces steps night of wildfires

GATLINBURG (WATE) – Dashcam video from the Sevierville Police Department shows another view as to what responders were faced with the night of the Gatlinburg fires.

The video shows police driving to the area of the fire and their reaction responding to the inferno as they worked to evacuate people to safety.

Richard Liles, owner of The Rose Pedaler, was close by that night. He said watching video from the night of the fire brings back painful memories of his own escape.

“It’s sad. We were so fortunate others weren’t. When you see the dashcam video, it makes it worse,” said Liles

Liles had come back to the business to try and save what he could.

Previous story: Dashcam video gives new perspective of firestorm in Gatlinburg

“It was windy, smoky and we had no electricity, said Liles. “I saw officers guiding people out of town.”

Liles gathered what he could and attempted to leave, driving towards harm’s way.

“The wind was blowing so hard and I was afraid another tree would come down I eventually got out, snaked my way down to Gatlinburg back to Sevierville,” said Liles.

Liles said he reflects on that night often and he is so grateful to be alive. His shop is back open and they are on their way to getting back to normal.

“We are open. We’re ready to go. We are here, we’re good!” said Liles.

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