KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee man who owns a store in Gatlinburg is so naturally laid back, the first word that wildfires were near the communitydidn’t unnerve him.
Mark Burger, 60, figured his cellphone would get an evacuation alert if the situation became dangerous, he said.
After inquiries, officials have since said no evacuation alert was sent to mobile devices.
Tennessee’s monthslong drought and wildfire emergency culminated Nov. 28 when hurricane-force winds sent unpredictable fires racing through the Gatlinburg area.
On Nov. 28, Burger was relaxing in his mountainside Gatlinburg condo with Tiger, his Siamese cat, for company. Burger’s son, Tanner, found Tiger as a kitten abandoned. Tanner rescued Tiger and gave him to Burger as a gift.
Now, it seems Tiger has repaid Burger for his life.