Homeowner Stories

Displaced Gatlinburg Family Resettled in New Clayton Home

Berkshire Hathaway company helps family return home after devastating wildfires

March 30, 2017

MARYVILLE, Tenn., March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — In the wake of the horrific winter wildfires in Gatlinburg and the surrounding area, thousands of residents were displaced, many of whom lost their homes. Clayton, one of the nation’s largest builders of manufactured and modular homes, has helped one family in their efforts to recover from the tragedy by guiding them through their home buying process and delivering a new home to the family less than two months after the wildfires destroyed their old home.

Experience the interactive Multimedia News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8011652-clayton-homes-gatlinburg-cates-family/

Clayton produced a video highlighting the plight of Sandra and Trevor Cates, whose original Clayton home was destroyed in the fires. In the video, the Cates discuss the night of Nov. 28, when the fire took their home and many of the buildings in the Gatlinburg area. The family discusses evacuating Gatlinburg, how organizations and volunteers rallied to help support victims of the fires and the process for getting into a new home through a local Clayton home center.


“Our immediate needs were met within minutes of us posting and telling everyone that our house was gone,” Sandra Cates said of the assistance from the Gatlinburg community. “We had nothing, but within minutes we had clothing again and offers for household stuff. It was just immediate.”

Clayton builds its homes indoors, protected from weather that can cause delays or damage construction by using a production line assembly process that efficiently allocates building materials to the homes it produces. Because of these building efficiencies, Clayton is able to build quality-built homes that are an affordable option for homebuyers. The Cates were able to select a Clayton Built™ home at Clayton Homes of Strawberry Plains, Tenn., and have it delivered and set up at the home site in less than two months.

The Cates family is now back at home on their Gatlinburg property and excited for life to be returning to normal. They are one of the first to return home as Gatlinburg residents recover and rebuild after suffering so much loss from the wildfires.

Family portrait of parents and two children standing in front of their new manufactured home.

“We are so proud to call East Tennessee our home,” said Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton. “The resilience of the Cates family through this tragedy embodies what it means to be ‘Smokies Strong.’ It is heart-warming to see our neighbors share such an inspiring message of strength and unity for the community after enduring so much loss. We are excited that they chose a Clayton home to rebuild their lives and make new memories.”

About Clayton
Founded in 1956, Clayton is committed to opening doors to a better life and building happyness® through homeownership. As a diverse builder committed to quality and durability, Clayton offers traditional site-built homes and off-site built housing – including modular homes, manufactured homes, CrossMod® homes, tiny homes, college dormitories, military barracks and apartments. All Clayton Built® homes are proudly designed and constructed in America. In 2022, Clayton built 62,620 homes across the country. Clayton is a Berkshire Hathaway company. For more information, visit claytonhomes.com.
*CrossMod is a registered trademark of the Manufactured Housing Institute. *