Little River couple returns home after close call with TN wildfi - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Little River couple returns home after close call with TN wildfires

The wildfires which spread across the Gatlinburg area forced evacuation for the couple to a nearby shelter for two days. (Source: WMBF News) The wildfires which spread across the Gatlinburg area forced evacuation for the couple to a nearby shelter for two days. (Source: WMBF News)

LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) - One couple is back home safely after going on vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The wildfires that spread across that area forced the couple to evacuate to a nearby shelter for two days.

Raymond and Carolyn Saldi are both in their 70s and have been married for more than 50 years. They say they've lived all over the world and seen it all, but say it's never too late to learn a life lesson. The couple says they were staying in a timeshare when the saw the fires coming towards them.

"I called down to the front desk early the next morning and said I smell smoke is there any problem? 'Oh no, it's two mountains away, it'll be fine,'" said Carolyn Saldi.

"It was probably a hundred yards away from us right there," said Raymond Saldi.

The couple was told to "get out now," and leave everything behind.

The Saldis drove to a nearby shelter, where they said thousands of locals joined them, many of whom had lost everything. They say the first night was so chaotic, they decided to sleep in the car.

"A lot of people stayed in their cars," Raymond Saldi said. "We stayed as warm as we could, you know, starting the car every once in a while."

The next night, they said they slept on cots inside the shelter, where the people banded together to form a community.

"We did feel like a family. We felt like we were taking up somebody else's space. We had a house to come home to. Why wait for suitcases? That was silly," said Carolyn Saldi.

The next day, the Saldis said they returned home with more than just souvenirs.

"I think even after great tragedies, there's always hope. You saw it in their eyes. Even though they were saying I have nothing, there was that hope there, and that gathering of the people around them to give them the strength, and I believe that's why we were put there," Carolyn Saldi said.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Report: Man stabbed while inside vehicle on Highway 31

    Report: Man stabbed while inside vehicle on Highway 31

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 12:33 PM EST2018-01-16 17:33:23 GMT
    Ivan Alex Sweatt (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)Ivan Alex Sweatt (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

    A 35-year-old man was allegedly stabbed by another man while inside a vehicle Sunday evening. Ivan Alex Sweatt, 55, has been charged with attempted murder in relation to the incident.

    More >>

    A 35-year-old man was allegedly stabbed by another man while inside a vehicle Sunday evening. Ivan Alex Sweatt, 55, has been charged with attempted murder in relation to the incident.

    More >>
  • Myrtle Beach Middle School opens its doors for first full day Tuesday

    Myrtle Beach Middle School opens its doors for first full day Tuesday

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 12:31 PM EST2018-01-16 17:31:21 GMT
    Leading up to the opening, students and parents were able to tour the school and learn about what the building has to offer (Source: Marissa Tansino).Leading up to the opening, students and parents were able to tour the school and learn about what the building has to offer (Source: Marissa Tansino).

    Students will spend their first full school day in the new Myrtle Beach Middle School, at the corner of 29th Avenue North and Oak Street, after it officially opened its doors to continue the second half of the school year. Dr. Janice Christy, principal of the school said teachers worked throughout the weekend to get their classrooms prepared for Tuesday.

    More >>

    Students will spend their first full school day in the new Myrtle Beach Middle School, at the corner of 29th Avenue North and Oak Street, after it officially opened its doors to continue the second half of the school year. Dr. Janice Christy, principal of the school said teachers worked throughout the weekend to get their classrooms prepared for Tuesday.

    More >>
  • BCSO arrest Shallotte man considered armed and dangerous

    BCSO arrest Shallotte man considered armed and dangerous

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:58 AM EST2018-01-16 16:58:22 GMT
    James Ali Pugh (Source: Brunswick County Detention Center)James Ali Pugh (Source: Brunswick County Detention Center)

    Deputies with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Shallotte man Tuesday morning considered to be armed and dangerous, according to a press release.

    More >>

    Deputies with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Shallotte man Tuesday morning considered to be armed and dangerous, according to a press release.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly