Augusta locals affected by Gatlinburg wildfires

AUGUSTA (WJBF) – Manny Bersach lives in Augusta, but his home away from home is Gatlinburg as his family owns a cabin that they stay in from time to time and also rent out to tourists.

“We’ve been going since I was 8 or 9 years old. It’s always been a fun area for my parents to go and relax,” Bersach said.

As the wildfires have been happening, Bersach has been watching the news in hopes that he’ll see the cabin still standing.

Unfortunately, one video said it all.

“It showed two pieces of property. One’s a little bit north, maybe a quarter mile north. And the other one is a quarter mile south of where our cabin was. They were both burned down,” he said.

The 27-year-old says he later received word from his mother that his family cabin was also gone.

“There’s just the memories that we made there. My sister put a picture up today on Instagram and it almost made me cry because that was the last time our family was there,” he said.

The Musgrove family is from Columbia County and also owns a home in Gatlinburg.

Monday evening, they were eating dinner when they looked out back and realized it was time to leave.

“It was just a wall of fire. It was throwing ash, red hot ash on the roof of our cabin,” Tony Musgrove said.

The Musgroves had to quickly jump in their vehicles and make their way down the mountain.

“Drive over big limbs and fire was up on both sides of the road at times,” Musgrove said.

While other homes have been destroyed, the Musgroves found out their home made it because of an aerial photo taken by a Tennessee TV station.

The photo shows the fire came close to the house, but never touched it.

The Lord showed us favor and blessed us with the safety of the cabin and the safety of our lives to get out of there. That was the primary thing,” Musgrove said.

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