Death toll from wildfires increases to 14

at-least-14-confirmed-dead-in-wildfires

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – The death toll from the Gatlinburg area fires has risen to 14.

On Sunday, the National Park Service and other authorities said 81-year-old Elaine Brown of Sevierville died fleeing the fire after she had a medical event driving that caused a multi-car crash.

Officials have increase the number of injures to 134. They say almost 1,700 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fires.

Also this weekend, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said a mass text message telling people to evacuate was never sent. TEMA says the local command post requested the message at 8:30 p.m. Monday, but communication between agencies was lost because of disabled phone, internet and electrical services.

Previously, John Mathews of the Sevier County Emergency Management Agency said the text was sent, but everyone didn’t receive it due to power outages and loss of cellphone reception.

TEMA says officials warned people throughout Monday through news conferences and news releases, door-to-door knocking and social media.

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