Pet pig survives Tennessee fire and is reunited with family

By: TC Newman

One family has a surprising reason to be thankful in the wake of the devastating wildfires that raged through Tennessee, claiming lives and property.

Rob Holmes returned to his charred home the day after the fire to survey the damage and heard a faint "oink." That sound lead him to the spot where Charles, their beloved family pet pig, had survived the intense flames by burying himself in the ground.

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Rob and Amy Holmes escaped their burning home with seconds to spare, carrying their 18 month old son, 15 year old daughter and four dogs. They fled through heavy smoke and fallen power lines before finding shelter in a nearby hotel.

In their exodus, Charles, a 200-lb. Vietnamese potbellied pig, was left behind. 15-year-old Andrea spent the night crying over what she perceived was the fiery fate of the pig she had cared for over the last 3 years.

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Family reunites with pet pig in wake of Tenn. wildfire
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Family reunites with pet pig in wake of Tenn. wildfire
Charles, a 200-lb. Vietnamese potbellied pig, was reunited with his family after the devastating Tenn. wildfires. 

(Photo credit: Rob Holmes/SWNS.com)
Charles, a 200-lb. Vietnamese potbellied pig, was reunited with his family after the devastating Tenn. wildfires. 

(Photo credit: Rob Holmes/SWNS.com)
Charles, a 200-lb. Vietnamese potbellied pig, was reunited with his family after the devastating Tenn. wildfires. 

(Photo credit: Rob Holmes/SWNS.com)
Charles, a 200-lb. Vietnamese potbellied pig, was reunited with his family after the devastating Tenn. wildfires. 

(Photo credit: Rob Holmes/SWNS.com)
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The intelligent pig turned firefighter by kicking dirt on flames that crept toward him, and survived the blaze by lying in a mud pit.

Charles is being treated at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for smoke inhalation and hooves that were singed as he kicked back flames. He is expected to make a full recovery. Volunteers have created a GoFundMe page to pay for the large veterinary bills Charles and the Holmes family will have.

After surviving a fire that destroyed their house and melted the alloy rims off of their car, Rob Holmes calls Charles the pig "a warrior."

See more from the devastating fires:

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Wildfires raging in Tennessee
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Wildfires raging in Tennessee
Firefighters stand by a destroyed home after a wildfire forced the mandatory evacuation of Gatlinburg, Tennessee in a picture released November 30, 2016. Tennessee Highway Patrol/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol help residents leave an area under threat of wildfire after a mandatory evacuation was ordered in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in a picture released November 30, 2016. Tennessee Highway Patrol/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Smoke plumes from wildfires are shown in the Great Smokey Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, U.S., November 28, 2016. Photo taken November 28, 2016. Courtesy of National Park Services Staff/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A wildfire burns on a hillside after a mandatory evacuation was ordered in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in a picture released November 30, 2016. Tennessee Highway Patrol/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol help residents leave an area under threat of wildfire after a mandatory evacuation was ordered in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in a picture released November 30, 2016. Tennessee Highway Patrol/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Motorists stop to view wildfires in the Great Smokey Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, U.S., November 28, 2016. Photo taken November 28, 2016. Courtesy of National Park Services Staff/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 29: Residents including Tyler Alden (2nd R) and Caleb Graves (R) gather to clear debris and put out small fires near surrounding homes as the remains of their neighbors' homes smolder after a wildfire November 29, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed after drought conditions helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 29: The remains of a business smolders after a wildfire November 29, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed after drought conditions helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 29: (L-R) Residents Kirk Wallace, Caleb Graves and Tyler Alden gather to clear debris and put out small fires near surrounding homes as the remains of their neighbors' homes smolder after a wildfire November 29, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed after drought conditions helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 29: The remains of a home smolders after a wildfire November 29, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed after drought conditions helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 29: The remains of homes and vehicles smolder after a wildfire November 29, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed after drought conditions helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 29: Emergency vehicles race by the remains of businesses and homes as they smolder after a wildfire November 29, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed after drought conditions helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 29: (L-R) Residents Kirk Wallace, Caleb Graves and Tyler Alden gather to clear debris and put out small fires near surrounding homes as the remains of their neighbors' homes smolder after a wildfire November 29, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed after drought conditions helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 29: The remains of a Jeep rental business smolders after a wildfire November 29, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed after drought conditions helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 30: Smoke fills the air and surrounds businesses and resorts in the wake of a wildfire November 30, 2016 in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Drought conditions and high winds helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 30: Smoke fills the air and surrounds businesses and resorts in the wake of a wildfire November 30, 2016 in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Drought conditions and high winds helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
GATLINBURG, TN - NOVEMBER 30: Smoke fills the air and surrounds businesses and resorts in the wake of a wildfire November 30, 2016 in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area and over 100 houses and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Drought conditions and high winds helped the fire spread through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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