UPDATE | Mother and father of family with southern Indiana ties - WDRB 41 Louisville News

UPDATE | Mother and father of family with southern Indiana ties found dead after Gatlinburg wildfires

Posted: Updated:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The catastrophic fires in Gatlinburg hit close to home after a family with ties to southern Indiana abandoned their car to run from the flames. 

The three brothers have been hospitalized, and the family said Thursday night that the parents have been found dead. 

Here's a post from the family Facebook page:

I am sorry to report that a 4:45 pm CST the Sevier County Sheriff's department has reported that the Medical Examiner has confirmed that two of the bodies found in North Chalet Village were Jon and Janet Summers.

Their 3 sons are aware. Your prayers are appreciated...

The wall of fire that ripped through Gatlinburg this week gutted homes, charred trees and moved quickly. The tales of those who fought to get out spread almost as fast as the flames, reaching 300 miles north to Maxwell's House of Music.  

"I don't know that anybody has grasped what has happened yet," said Mark Maxwell, Louisville Crashers musician and owner of the music shop. 

John and Janet Summers once lived in New Albany with their three boys. Mark Maxwell taught the brothers -- now 23-year-old Branson and 22-year-old twin brothers, Wesley and Jared -- how to perform in a band. 

"They were fearless up on stage like they deserved to be there," Maxwell said.

Friends say the brothers separated from their parents as they tried to reach safety. The entire family jumped out of their car to get away from the flames on foot. The body's of John and Janet Summers were found Thursday by local law enforcement. 

The staff at Community Montessori Charter School where the Summers once attended sent word to students and parents both past and present. "Everyone just needs to send a lot of prayers and positive energy," said Barbara Burke Fondren, director at the school.

A Summers family member is posting updates on social media. The latest update indicates that Branson was in surgery and Jared had moved out of the ICU burn unit at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. 

"My heart just broke when I heard the news that they separated," Fondren said. "You wonder what happened in those last few minutes and knowing Jon and Janet I believe they were probably just trying to protect the boys."

The Summers moved years ago and everyday the parents are missing becomes harder to handle but their neighbors in southern Indiana watch, wait and pray for that miracle of a safe return. 

"It's one great family that deserves to be here," Maxwell said.

To donate to the family, CLICK HERE.

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