People search for warmth in cold weather

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A cold Monday night is expected in East Tennessee and people have been searching for ways to stay warm.

At the Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministry in Sevierville, Director Dick Wellons and his staff has been busy trying to find enough eaters for those in need. He says people have been calling saying they don't have a heater at home.

"We're seeing quite a few people that are needing assistance with their heat. As well as keeping the utilities on so the heat will continue," said Wellons. "They rely on small little space heaters and the only thing we can do is take care of a small room."

Wellons says without a shelter in Sevier County, there's a need for those who have a home and power to have adequate heat. He says his group tries to provide heaters when they can.

"The heat situation is one that is very critical and not a lot of folks providing that for their neighbors," said Wellons.

Firefighters in Pigeon Forge say people need to be extremely careful when using some methods of heating. They say people shouldn't try to heat with a stove, or a heater that may have wiring that's been damaged.

"If you're using a fireplace, make sure the chimney and things are cleaned out. Make sure you've got smoke detectors, that's one thing that the Pigeon Forge Fire Department, We're heavy into smoke detectors," said Captain John Brackins with the Pigeon Forge Fire Department.

Brackins says if people are in need of a smoke detector that they can call the fire department and they will help get them one.

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