Wildfire victim writes letter to juveniles accused of arson

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A man whose wife and daughters were killed in a wildfire that spread through Gatlinburg says he has forgiven the two juveniles who have been accused of starting it.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports Michael Reed posted an open letter on his Facebook page to the two juveniles who have been charged with aggravated arson. In the letter, Reed says “forgiveness isn’t for you. It is for me.”

Reed’s wife, Constance, and his two daughters Chloe and Lily were killed in the wildfire that spread through Gatlinburg and the surrounding area last month. The fire killed 14 people and damaged more than 2,400 buildings, causing more than $500 million in damage.

Reed told the newspaper he did not post the letter seeking recognition, but to express his feelings.