Man rescued from Hawkins County wildfire talks about rescue, thanks firefighters

HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Trapped in a small, but deep hole in the woods behind his Bays Mountain home, Roy Simpson says he nearly lost his life Tuesday evening.

“I got down in there and then all of a sudden, I couldn’t get out,” Roy Simpson said.

Simpson is no stranger to exploring the mountain woods. He says climbing into ditches was a favorite pastime as a child, but the growing wildfire turned a childhood joy into a nightmare.

“I heard people hollering at me and they had come to save me,” Simpson said.

Captain Frank Vaughn with Carters Valley Volunteer Fire Department says two people were injured, but all are doing okay.

“We had to go in and try to locate him once we located him. He  was off the backside we ended up having seven fire fighters that got pinned in down there on the bottom,” Captain Frank Vaughn said.

Nearly 24 hours later, he and his men along with Goshen Valley Volunteer fire and the Tennessee Division of Forestry are all back fighting that same fire.

“The fire has moved on around close to a structure so right now we are doing structure protection,” Captain Vaughn said.

A back burn is being done with hopes to contain the fire and reduce spreading.

“I thank them very much, I would have never made it out,” Simpson said.

Roy Simpson doesn’t have plans to go back into the woods again. He says he’s also grateful the team of firefighters that came to his rescue are okay.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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