Among them was Zack Lively, whose home was a total loss. He couldn't shake the memories of what he saw.
"I ain't never seen so fierce in my life," Lively said. "I mean, there ain't words to describe it. It's just a feeling -- that red glow coming through the smoke on the mountain coming close to you … knowing you got minutes to get out and get going, leaving everything you've got. Yeah, it's something else."
There are still scattered pockets of fires because of fierce winds that topped 87 mph, pushing the flames extremely fast.
Gatlinburg resident Tammy Lent said she raced home against a police officer's suggestion to rescue her dogs.
"We ran home in our truck, and the fire was on both sides of us," Lent said.
Even with the heavy rain in the area helping firefighters, there was no word on when the roads into Gatlinburg would reopen.