Family Devastated By Fire Sees Wiggling In The Mud, Couldn't Believe Their Eyes

 As wildfires rip through the Great Smokey Mountains, Rob Holmes and his family found themselves trapped in their home surrounded by flames.  With evacuations taking place all around them it was clear they would need to leave.

“The power lines dangled over our driveway.  We couldn’t get our cars out, the smoke was so bad that we were having a hard time breathing.” Holmes said.

The family fled with four dogs and one cat to a nearby hotel.  Andrea, Rob’s daughter cried all night long because the one animal they couldn’t rescue was Charles, the pet pig.

When the family returned they were given the worst possible news they could have heard, the house was burned completely to the ground.  Then they got the best news ever; Charles the pig was alive!

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Holmes said.  The pig had burrowed down into the mud to survive the 800 degrees temps.

The Pig’s Recovery

Charles was dehydrated and suffered some burns on his hooves.  He was brought to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital where he can receive fluids and be treated for smoke inhalation.  His family has gathered around him as well as other visitors.

“We lost everything materialistic,” Holmes said, “but we had what was most important, our lives.”

 The fires gnawed away over 1,600 structures, scorching homes, cabins and churches along the Great Smokey Mountain area which makes it even more amazing that Charles is still with us.

Charles the Pig

The Holmes Family thought they lost everything in the wildfires, but one thing survived.Their pet pig, Charles.I still can’t believe this pig was able to fight off the heat of the flames around him. Charles’ tale is one of heartbreak, survival and joy in the darkest of times.FULL VIDEO: http://on.wbir.com/2fZcZ49

Posted by Louis Fernandez WBIR on Friday, December 2, 2016

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