Mid-Michigan family forced to evacuate while on vacation in Tennessee due to wildfire

Mich. (WNEM)- A mid-Michigan family on vacation in Tennessee had their trip upended by a raging wildfire that caused them to evacuate the home they were staying in.

Alayna Wesener and her family were evacuated in the middle of the night from their AirBNB in Pigeon Forge. She spoke to TV5 via Zoom from Nashville after a chaotic early morning.

“It’s definitely been a pretty crazy experience,” Wesener said.

Wesener said she knew wildfires were around but not in the immediate area. That all changed a couple of hours after midnight when they got an alert on their phones.

A mid-Michigan family had to evacuate while on vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee due to a wildfire in the area.(Alayna Wesener)

“We looked out the window and there were a line of fire trucks and smoke. There was smoke in the house,” Wesener said.

They got out with what they were sleeping in or what they could grab. Spending a couple of hours at a shelter before leaving town.

“It was really scary for me. And when they got me up, I was shaking. I really didn’t know what to do,” said Amelia Wesener.

Wesener owns Sushi Remix in Bay City. We talked with Jackie Militello, one of her employees, about her boss’ restless night.

“I was shocked. Honestly, I feel like it was just not the same as a cherry on top of like this year and the past few years, but it was like oh my god can anyone get a relief or anything,” Militello said.

Wesener said she was told the wildfire was caused by a tree falling over in high wind and hitting a power line sparking the blaze. When they can, they’ll head back to their AirBNB to see what, if anything, was affected by the fire.

Wesener said this is something her family will never forget.

“Jay is joining the Navy. He leaves for boot camp August 30 and we wanted to give him a memorable vacation. So, I think we, yeah, I think we succeeded,” Wesener said.

A mid-Michigan family had to evacuate while on vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee due to a...
A mid-Michigan family had to evacuate while on vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee due to a wildfire in the area.(Alayna Wesener)
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