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13 people dead, dozens injured following East TN fires

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Thirteen people are now confirmed dead following the fires in East Tennessee.

Twelve people were directly killed in the fires, and a thirteenth died after having a heart attack after she inhaled smoke.

Among the dead are Memphians Jon and Janet Summers.

Also identified were John and Janet Tegler who were visiting from Canada.

May Vance is the person who died from a heart attack.

They had last been seen by their family trying to escape a wildfire while on vacation.

Officials said they have identified all of those victims, but are waiting to notify next of kin before releasing any names.

The number of people being treated at nearby hospitals has also increased to 80, reported WATE.

Thankfully, many people who were reported missing have been found through leads on Thursday.

All the fires in the county and city are out except for a few hot spots, the mayor said.

A majority of the land has also been searched. Officials are hopeful they won’t find any more dead since the search is almost complete.

The city and county are now starting to allow residents back into their homes on a limited access basis to assess the damage.

Despite the damage, officials said the area is open for business.

They encouraged people who had planned to travel to the area to continue to do so.