A man who lost his wife and two daughters in the Gatlinburg, TN fires, has chosen to forgive the teens responsible for setting the blazes.
CBN News reports that Michael Reed lost his wife, Constance, and two daughters, Chloe and Lily, in the sweeping wildfires that devastated Gatlinburg a couple weeks ago.
Reed and his teenage son, Nicholas were traveling when news broke of the fires. They tried to make it back to the rest of their family, but roads were blocked and they were unable to get through.
Reed received a call from his wife who told him she could see the flames from their house. Reed told her to take the children and flee the area.
However, Reed and his son were later given news that Constance, Chloe, and Lily were victims of the fires.
Although devastated and grieving, Reed chose to forgive the two boys thought to be responsible for the fires.
The two teens had reportedly dropped matches onto the ground in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. They have been charged with aggravated arson.
In an open letter posted on his Facebook page, Reed wrote, "Forgiveness isn't for you. It is for me. It is for my son. It is for Constance, Chloe, and Lily. It is for this community who all lost so much in this tragedy."
Fourteen people lost their lives in the fires and over 2,400 buildings were destroyed, amounting to more than $500 million in damages.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: December 21, 2016