Firefighters reunited with woman rescued after flooding in East Tennessee

Members of Engine 18 saved a woman who was trapped in floodwaters along Papermill Drive.
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 11:45 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Monday night, firefighters with the Knoxville Fire Department were dispatched to a water rescue along Papermill Drive.

”We were on our way back. We had been down to Downtown West and were on our way back to the station and oddly enough had said let’s drive down papermill and check it out,” said Justin Ingle, a master firefighter with the Knoxville Fire Department.

Coming back from a call, the engine company was tasked with rescuing a woman, just about two football fields away from their station’s front doors.

”Before we got down to Papermill Drive, you know they were sending us on this call,” said Ingle.

In front of McKay’s a woman tried to turn around to avoid floodwaters, only she was swept away.

While being taken away by the rapidly moving waters, the young woman was able to grab ahold of a tree and cling on for dear life, while firefighters worked their way through flooded streets to help her.

”She was vocal, so she was really screaming for help,” said Ingle.

Hearing her before seeing her, the firefighters brought her to safety.

Wednesday, as the officers were returning to the station from a run, they saw the young woman’s father getting a few items from her car when they stopped to talk with him.

A few minutes later, the woman arrived and snapped a photo with the men who saved her life.

”It’s tremendously rewarding to make that connection and see a face that you’ve seen in trauma and both been in this intense moment together,” said Ingle with a smile.

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