GATLINBURG, Tenn. - A couple visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee, from Memphis was killed after wildfires swept through the city, prompting thousands of people to evacuate their homes, decimating buildings and knocking out power.
Jon and Janet Summers were apparently on a weekend trip to the Great Smoky Mountains with their three sons when the fires spread, The Commercial Appeal reported. The couple had since been reported missing. Their three sons were hospitalized.
FOX13 has confirmed the missing Memphis couple was killed in the Gatlinburg fires.
A family member posted about the news in a support group for the Summers family.
"I am sorry to report that a 4:45 p.m. CST the Sevier County Sheriff's department has reported that the Medical Examiner has confirmed that two of the bodies found in North Chalet Village were Jon and Janet Summers. Their 3 sons are aware. Your prayers are appreciated."
At least one of the couple's children was airlifted in critical condition to a hospital.
Friends told FOX13 the family was trying to escape the fire closing in around them when they were stopped on a road. The parents and children were separated when running away on foot.
The three boys were found together, unconscious from smoke inhalation. Two of the boys had burns, some on their face and hands, but are expected to recover.
Friends and family said all three boys were responsive and awake by Wednesday morning, but hooked up to respirators and using white boards to communicate with one another.
A YouCaring page has been set up to help with the three boys' medical costs. More than $35,000 has been raised toward its $100,000 goal.
Officials said dozens of people have been injured and four people killed as of Wednesday afternoon as a result of the fires.