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Missing 70-Year-Old Woman Dies After Tennessee Wildfire: ‘She Was Scared and Frantic,’ Says Son

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Alice Hagler
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Alice Hagler has been confirmed as one of the seven people who died in the wildfires that devastated the town of Gatlinburg, Tennnesee.

On Wednesday night, officials told her two sons the devastating news about their 70-year-old mother.

“The last phone call she made to my brother was the fact that she was really scared and frantic because the house was actually on fire at that point,” Lyle Wood, who traveled to Gatlinburg to look for his mom, told CNN Thursday. “Our hope was that maybe she’d be one of the ones that was found safe.”

He added, “It’s a hard thing … She was an amazing woman who loved a lot.”

Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel/AP

Hagler’s other son, James Wood, was on the phone with his mother on Monday night when the call suddenly dropped.

“We had been talking for several hours on and off. She called me at 8:30 and said the house was on fire. I told her to get out immediately,” he told WATE on Tuesday. “We got disconnected and I have not been able to get in touch with her since.”

Lyle Wood’s wife, Rachel, told CNN that her mother-in-law was likely preparing for an upcoming family trip to Disney World when the wildfire began.

When she talked to her on Monday afternoon, Hagler sounded nervous about the strong winds shaking her house.

WATCHAt Least 10 Killed In Smoky Mountain Wildfire, Others Remain Missing

“She was unsettled, and she was scared,” she said.

Other local families continue to search for missing family members.

“Our search and rescue teams are going out house by house,” Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said Wednesday, according to the news outlet. “Right now, search and rescue is our main challenge.”

Fourteen thousand residents and tourists were evacuated Monday and at least 74 people have been injured in the fires.