SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It was an emotional reunion on Wednesday for the Dixons and the four Sevierville firefighters who rescued the couple from the Gatlinburg firestorm.
Jennifer and Tiki Dixon on Monday told a Tennessee television station they were evacuating Gatlinburg but got stuck because of a fallen tree in the road. They did not think they would be able to make it out, until four firefighters showed up with chainsaws.
“One of the guys saw them and we started clearing the tree out,” said Steve Whaley, one of the firefighters.
Since then, the Dixons have wanted to thank the guys who saved their lives. When they heard they were going to meet the heroes on Wednesday, the Dixons could not believe the reunion was happening so soon after telling their story. When they first saw the firefighters, the embraced them all with a hug.
“These circumstances, it’s an awesome thing to be able to say thank you and just let them know we appreciate them,” said Tiki Dixon.
The firefighters had big smiles too because these reunions do not happen very often. Both groups agree it was nice to see that everyone is okay after that terrifying night.
“Seeing them face to face and being able to put a face to an incident was very nice. It was very neat to see,” said Tom Lucas, one of the firefighters.
The Dixons handed out “thank you” cards. The firefighters also gave the couple a patch that the men wear on their uniforms.
“These are mementos of where we have been and we would like to give this to you to remember us by,” said Tom Lucas.
The firefighters and the Dixons also took a group photo. They will never forget the men they owe their lives to.
“I have a new found respect for firemen. This is a blessing,” said Jennifer Dixon.