Sevier Co. firefighter escapes Hatcher Mountain wildfire

Jim Carr was working to put out the wildfire on Hatcher Mountain he went from trying to stop a brush fire to preventing the fire from going towards his truck.
Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 11:54 PM EDT
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SEVIER CO., Tenn. (WVLT) - The two-decade Sevier County firefighter veteran, Jim Carr, escaped from the Hatcher Mountain wildfires this past week.

The Von-Bryan Inn sat at the top of the mountain with charred fire trucks and rubble everywhere days after the fire.

“Absolute hell that opened up trying to get us,” Carr said.

Carr was with at least five other firemen fighting the fire. After several minutes, they went from trying to stop a brush fire to preventing the fire from going towards their trucks.

“I went to our tanker and called for a mayday,” Carr said. “I knew we were trapped. I knew we were in trouble.”

Carr made his way to his tanker, but only heard the sounds of tires exploding and nothing from the people he was working with.

“I made my end-of-life video for my friends and family,” Carr said.

Before he lost all hope, he received a call from his wife and a friend asking where he was at. He could only tell them one thing.

“I was trapped and couldn’t get out,” Carr said.

His friend and assistant fire chief asked if he had a thermal device on him to detect where cooler areas may be. He found the device and after waiting for what Carr said was an eternity, he was able to get out and find his colleagues.

“The courage and dedication I saw from those five men that day was overwhelming,” Carr said.

Carr gave thanks not just to his colleagues, but to others as well.

“We give God the glory for helping us because without his hand we were nothing,” he said.

Carr received his fire helmet after escaping the fire. He said it didn’t have much use now, but he’ll hold onto it to continue coping with what happened.

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