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Family: Cincinnati native's wife, 2 daughters die in TN fires

Posted at 6:55 PM, Dec 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-04 00:19:21-05

CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati native and Northwest High School grad lost his wife and his two daughters in the Tennessee fires, according to family members. 

According to WATE, Michael Reed’s wife, Constance Reed, was found dead Saturday after the fires that ripped through Tennessee earlier this week. WATE reported the two bodies found next to Constance Reed may be their daughters, 12-year-old Chloe and 9-year-old Lily.

Grandmother Jeannie Gardner told WATE she believes they are her granddaughters, but she is waiting on positive identification from the medical examiner’ office.

WATE reported Reed was separated from his wife and daughters when he left their home Monday to try to find a safe place for the family to stay. Driving the family’s only car, Reed got stuck and traffic and roads back to his home became impassable.

Grant Reed, Michael Reed’s father, posted on Facebook that the three were found dead Sunday:

“With profound sadness that is now a part of my soul I am sorry to share the passing of Constance, Chloe and Lily. Please continue to pray for my son Michael and his son Nichols.”

Matt Bruner, Reed’s friend of over 25 years, said Reed remained hopeful that he would find his family.

"We talked yesterday for about two hours, and he kept on saying over and over again, ‘They're alive, they're alive, they're alive,’” Bruner said.

Now Bruner said he just wants to make sure his friend is taken care of.

“I'm up here and he's down there, and I just can't be there just to give him a hug,” Bruner said.

Despite the tragic news, Bruner said he is thankful for the support the community has shown for the Reed family.

"The amount of support that I'm seeing from the Northwest community, from his Gatlinburg friends, to facebook, to people we don't even know, the amount of support he's getting is just amazing and I can't thank them enough,” Bruner said.

Donations can be made to the family’s Go Fund Me page or at any Fifth Third Bank under the Reed Family Benefit Fund. 

WATE is a media partner of WCPO.com.