Walton family narrowly escapes Gatlinburg fire

Posted at 5:31 PM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 18:10:19-05

GATLINBURG, Tenn. -- Kristen Fordan thought she would die Monday night.

The Walton resident and her two sons, Ethan and Logan Baker, were staying at the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, when 85 mph winds surrounded the building, carrying with them the fire that had already consumed more than 500 acres of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the surrounding area.

Smoke poured in through their doors and windows, according to the boys’ grandfather, Robin Baker. Fordan told him that she wrote a note with her sons’ names and ages in case the family was unable to escape.

The family made it out, however, and Baker drove from Walton to Tennessee to visit them in the hospital.

"I’m glad they made it," he said. "God was with them, and I just know that he was there to take care of them."

Doctors expect Fordan and her sons to recover from smoke inhalation, Baker said, but the blaze continued to chew through areas in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Tuesday evening, according to Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller.