MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — The Taylors have been living in East Tennessee for 17 years splitting time between Kodak and Morristown. They only found out Monday as to how far their neighbors would be willing to go to help them.
The Taylor family lost just about everything when their home caught fire. Several fire departments responded to their home as flame shot out of the roof.
Firefighters described the fire as “very intense.”
Phillis Cooper, Elizabeth Taylor, and David Taylor along with the Taylors son were all at the home when the fire started. They said they are thankful that everyone made it out of the home and that a few items in the home were salvaged.
“My son came in and told us that he smelt smoke and by the time we got up out of the chair and walked outside the whole side of our house was engulfed in flames,” David said.
They were able to save their two dogs and two parakeets but didn’t have time to grab their wallets or keys.
“It’s the most helpless I’ve felt in my entire life,” David said.
Neighbors and friends ran to the rescue, literally giving them the shoes off their feet and coats off their back as they watched their house go up in flames.
“The outpouring of love and the sense of community I mean has been overwhelming,” Elizabeth said. “I mean something that I’ve never experienced in my life.”
Firefighters were able to salvage some family photos while fighting the flames.
“When it’s your house and you see what those twenty-seven or twenty-eight volunteers came and did, its just amazing,” David said. “I just got to give them all the kudos that I can.”
The most important picture they were able to save was one of their 42-year-old son who passed away last year.
“They called me on Father’s Day and told me he’s passed away,” David stated.
Now, they’re hoping to find his ashes in the rubble.
The family is trying to focus on the good. David said the community has pitched in to provide food, clothing and temporary housing.
“All of Morristown has come out and all the love that they’ve shown us is just mind-boggling,” he said.
Though their family has lost a lot this year, they’re grateful for the community that they’ve gained.
The family does plan to rebuild. They say they moved to Morristown to be closer to their church family and they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
The fire is still under investigation.
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