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Mom, daughters killed in Gatlinburg were trying to escape

New information about the devastating Gatlinburg wildfires in Tennessee have revealed that a mother and her two young daughters died while running away from their home in an attempt to escape the blaze. 

Constance Reed, 34, and her children Chloe, 12, and Lily, nine, died alongside each other as they tried to outrun the flames as it consumed their neighborhood on November 28, 2016. 

They were three of the 14 people who were killed in the devastating wildfire that injured nearly 200 other people and damaged 2,500 homes and businesses. 

A 911 call revealed that Constance had seen her neighbor’s house burst into flames.

New information about the devastating Gatlinburg wildfires in Tennessee have revealed that Constance Reed, 34, and her daughters Chloe, 12, and Lily, nine, died alongside each other as they tried to outrun the flames

Constance Reed and her daughters, 12-year-old Chloe and nine-year-old Lily, all died together. The 34-year-old and her children had fled from their home after witnessing their neighbors home go up in flames

She told the dispatcher that her husband wasn't home and that she and her daughters had no way out

A 911 call revealed that Constance had seen her neighbor’s house burst into flames before she and her daughters tried to escape on November 28, 2016

They were three of the 14 people who were killed in the devastating wildfire that injured nearly 200 other people and damaged 2,500 homes and businesses

They were three of the 14 people who were killed in the devastating wildfire that injured nearly 200 other people and damaged 2,500 homes and businesses

She told the dispatcher that her husband wasn’t home and that she and her daughters had no way out, according to records obtained by WATE.  

The dispatcher asked for Constance’s addresses and tried to connect her to the Gatlinburg Police Department, but the line dropped. 

It appears Constance and her daughters then attempted to make a run for it. The sheriff’s office later said that she had only been able to make it up part of a hill near her home. 

Constance and her children’s faces became well known in the local community as her husband Michael Reed and their 15-year-old son Nicolas desperately searched for their family in the days after the fire.

Michael had last spoken to Constance at 8.15pm on the night of her death, when she called to tell him she could see flames across the street from their home. 

‘I told them to call 911 and get out, and that was the last I heard from them,’ Reed told the Knoxville News Sentinel in November. 

Reed, who had been out with his son at the time of the fire, clung onto hope that they were still alive after police checked the couple’s home and found no bodies. 

Constance and her children's faces became well known in the local community as her husband Michael Reed (pictured) and their 15-year-old son Nicolas desperately searched for their family in the days after the fire

Michael had last spoken to Constance at 8.15pm on the night of her death, when she called to tell him she could see flames across the street from their home

Constance and her children’s faces became well known in the local community as her husband Michael Reed (pictured) and their 15-year-old son Nicolas desperately searched for their family in the days after the fire

Reed, who had been out with his son (both pictured with their family) at the time of the fire, clung onto hope that they were still alive after police checked the couple's home and found no bodies

Reed, who had been out with his son (both pictured with their family) at the time of the fire, clung onto hope that they were still alive after police checked the couple’s home and found no bodies

He spent hours searching different shelters before their deaths were confirmed. 

Reed later wrote a letter to the two juveniles who were initially charged with starting the deadly fire. 

‘I forgive you. My son forgives you. My wife and beautiful girls forgive you,’ the letter read, according to WBIR. 

‘We know you didn’t mean for this to happen. We know you would take it all back if you could.’ 

The tragedy also inspired Reed to launch Constance’s Bill, which proposes a national helpline abuse number that children can text if they’re being hurt. 

Constance had made a YouTube video in 2015 in which she revealed she had been sexually and physically abused as a child and thus suffered from constant anxiety. 

‘I live in constant fear,’ she wrote in the heartbreaking video, which has been viewed more than 220,000 times. ‘I can’t even go shipping without having an anxiety attack.’ 

Reed is hoping that Constance’s Bill, which was filed by West Virginia State Senator Sue Cline in March, will help defenseless children and honor his wife’s memory.  

Records released earlier this week revealed that 11 of the Gatlinburg fire victims died of burns or smoke inhalation, while three others perished from other causes 

Records released earlier this week revealed that 11 of the Gatlinburg fire victims died of burns or smoke inhalation, while three others perished from other causes 

After months of drought, hurricane-force winds engulfed the city in flames, injuring almost 200 people and damaging close to 2,500 homes and businesses, costing billions

After months of drought, hurricane-force winds engulfed the city in flames, injuring almost 200 people and damaging close to 2,500 homes and businesses, costing billions

After months of drought, hurricane-force winds engulfed the city in flames, injuring almost 200 people and damaging close to 2,500 homes and businesses

‘My wife’s one true hope for her life was to help others who’d experienced the same kind of trauma that she did,’ he wrote on a website dedicated to Constance’s Bill. 

‘Now that she’s gone, it’s up to me to help make Constance’s life-long wish come true.’ 

Records released earlier this week revealed that 11 of the Gatlinburg fire victims died of burns or smoke inhalation, while three others perished from other causes.  

Elaine Brown, 81, died in a car crash ‘when her vehicle left the roadway’ as she was fleeing the blaze, while Bradley William Phillips, 59, was said to have tree limb fall on him outside his home. 

May Evelyn Norred Vance, 75, was running from the fire with her husband, Jimmy, when she suffered a heart attack. They had been married for 53 years.

Jon Summers, 71 and his wife Janet, 61, were on vacation from Memphis with their three sons, when they were caught in the fire. Jon's body was found with three cellphones nearby and the couple's three sons suffered severe burns. Records didn't indicate where Janet's body was found

Jon Summers, 71 and his wife Janet, 61, were on vacation from Memphis with their three sons, when they were caught in the fire. Jon’s body was found with three cellphones nearby and the couple’s three sons suffered severe burns. Records didn’t indicate where Janet’s body was found

70-year-old Alice Hagler never even made it out of her home where her remains were found

Police found the Reverend Ed Taylor's body in an embankment not far from his home. He had performed more than 85,000 marriages

Alice Hagler, 70, perished inside her house while the Reverend Ed Taylor’s body in an embankment not far from his home

Bradley William Phillips, 59, was said to have tree limb fall on him outside his home

May Evelyn Norred Vance, 75, was running from the fire with her husband, Jimmy, when she suffered a heart attack. They had been married for 53 years

Three people died from causes that weren’t because of the fire. Bradley William Phillips (left) had a limb fall on him and May Vance (right) suffered a heart attack

Another couple, John and Mariln Tegler, died trying to escape their home. The 71-year-old's body was found on a nearby road, and it was revealed he collapsed from smoke inhalation and had been struck by at least one car 

Another couple, John and Mariln Tegler, died trying to escape their home. The 71-year-old’s body was found on a nearby road, and it was revealed he collapsed from smoke inhalation and had been struck by at least one car 

A burned out resort shows just how disatrous the fire was in the community

A burned out resort shows just how disatrous the fire was in the community

Jon Summers, 71 and his wife Janet, 61, were on vacation from Memphis with their three sons, when they were caught in the fire. Jon’s body was found with three cellphones nearby and the couple’s three sons suffered severe burns. Records didn’t indicate where Janet’s body was found.

Another couple, John and Mariln Tegler, died trying to escape their home. The 71-year-old’s body was found on a nearby road, and it was revealed he collapsed from smoke inhalation and had been struck by at least one car. 

Two people died in their rooms at a local Traveler’s Motel. Pamela Jean Johnson, 59, was found in Room 4 while Robert A. Hejny was found in Room 13. Alice Hagler, 70, perished in her home. 

Police found the Reverend Ed Taylor’s body in an embankment not far from his home. He had performed more than 85,000 marriages. 

After months of drought, hurricane-force winds rapidly engulfed the city in flames. 

Communication that night was wiped out for hours, as a massive power failure shut down the emergency operations centers where the city directed it's initial response to the blaze. Another angle of the burned down resort

Communication that night was wiped out for hours, as a massive power failure shut down the emergency operations centers where the city directed it’s initial response to the blaze. Another angle of the burned down resort

The remains of laundry machines that have been burned to a crisp

Smoke rises from the remains of an Alamo Steakhouse in the region

Notes have been gathered from inside the emergency operations center, and they tell of a fire that was too hard to fight on multiple fronts that ravaged the region

'Resource(s) depleted; requesting more. ... Flames greater than 40 feet ... Wall of fire ... Overrun ... Retreating,' read one of the notes

‘Resource(s) depleted; requesting more. … Flames greater than 40 feet … Wall of fire … Overrun … Retreating,’ read one of the notes

Communication that night was wiped out for hours, as a massive power failure shut down the emergency operations centers where the city directed it’s initial response to the blaze. 

Records, like those from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency’s command center in Nashville, were lost due to technical issues while others have yet to be released. 

Under a court order obtained by 4th Judicial District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn, the autopsy records were sealed for months. 

Dunn asserted that releasing the records would tamper the prosecution’s case of the two teenage boys who had been charged with starting the fire.

Five days prior to the blaze, the two boys were playing with matches inside the Great Smoky mountains National Park.

The charges were ultimately dropped as the prosecution noted that there was not enough evidence to tie the fire to the teenagers. 

In the days following the blaze, harrowing descriptions of door-to-door search communities reveal how the rescue for the missing went

In the days following the blaze, harrowing descriptions of door-to-door search communities reveal how the rescue for the missing went

Some notes say little more than 'DOA' or dead on arrival. A swimming pool at a motel has debris and fallen limbs in it 

Some notes say little more than ‘DOA’ or dead on arrival. A swimming pool at a motel has debris and fallen limbs in it 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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