Mayday: 7 firefighters, 1 civilian trapped in Tenn. wildfire

Firefighters went into the woods to search for a missing person; the entire crew is safe and accounted for


By FireRescue1 Staff

CHURCH HILL, Tenn. — A brush fire broke out Tuesday evening, prompting seven firefighters to send out a mayday call while rescuing a civilian in a mountainous area. 

Officials said the fire was reported earlier in the evening and firefighters went into the woods to locate a missing person. 

Although the civilian was found, the fire prevented crews from leaving the area. WJHL reported that the firefighters and civilian were in a safe location. It is unclear how the firefighters were trapped and rescued, but officials told the Times News the entire crew was accounted for. 

“The fire got between the [firefighters] and a bluff, and there was nowhere to go,” Gary Murrell, Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency Director, said. “They declared a mayday -- and when that happens there’s a certain protocol our dispatch follows. That means send everything you’ve got that way.”

A state forestry division worker sustained a shoulder injury, and another civilian was transported to the hospital for a leg injury.

The firefighters are still working to control and extinguish the fire.

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