Statesboro funeral home collecting donations for Tennessee wildf - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Statesboro funeral home collecting donations for Tennessee wildfire victims

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Wildfires are tearing through the mountains of Tennessee, so far claiming three lives and forcing thousands to evacuate. 

Mandatory evacuations were ordered after the fires took off Monday night, spreading into the resort city of Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains. We've been monitoring the situation and just in the last hour, we've learned that three people are claimed dead and several others are injured.

It was a close call for many of those who were able to escape the flames. Fueled by winds of over 80 miles-per-hour, the wildfires exploded, creating a fast-moving inferno. Over 100 buildings have burned as the fires continued to spread rapidly. Many people are very lucky to have gotten away just in time.

A Statesboro funeral home is now taking donations to assist the victims.

Workers at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home hope to collect bottled water, non-perishable food and toiletries to give to one community outside of Pigeon Forge.

“We hope to leave Friday morning, between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. so we can get up there around the time the sun comes up so we can help people where the needs are at,” said Richard Pylant, with the Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home.

You can drop donations at Joiner-Anderson and Bulloch Memorial Gardens Wednesday and Thursday.

One of the main attractions in the area is Dollywood, which it was spared. Dolly Parton is telling People Magazine that she is heartbroken and is praying for the people of Tennessee.  

Copyright 2016 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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