Mayor: 13 people have died from Tennessee fires

A aerial shot of the destruction and devastation of wildfires in Tennessee. Image Credit: WKRN

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee mayor says 13 people have died from wildfires that ravaged the Great Smoky Mountains, including a person who appears to have had a heart attack while fleeing the flames.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters announced the additional deaths during a news conference Friday. The mayor also raised the number of homes and businesses that were damaged to nearly 1,000.

A aerial shot of the destruction and devastation of wildfires in Tennessee. Image Credit: WKRN
A aerial shot of the destruction and devastation of wildfires in Tennessee. Image Credit: WKRN

Waters spoke as business owners and home owners were returning to the city of Gatlinburg for the first time since the wildfires began damaging the area Monday.

Officials say a Memphis, Tennessee, couple are among the 13 people who died in the wildfires that ravaged the city of Gatlinburg.

Officials said Friday that Jon and Janet Summers, both 61 years old, were among the dead. Their three adult sons became separated from their parents during the wildfires and the three young men were severely injured. They have been recovering at a hospital in Nashville. One of them has been released.

The dead also included a couple from Canada and another woman who was vacationing. Officials have not identified the other victims, but did say one person appeared to die of a heart attack while fleeing the flames.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.