Neighbor Saves Man from Burning House

by Tashun Chism

A local man is being called a "hero" after rescuing a neighbor from a housefire.  The home was a total loss, but the fire victim is safe, thanks to the unselfish efforts of one of his neighbors.

Earlier this month, 72-year-old Tommy Nolan's north Lufkin home caught on fire, trapping him inside.  "I was in there in all that smoke and I couldn't see. And I had the back door locked from the inside to keep people from coming in and stealing my money and my groceries, and so I had it locked from the inside and I had a chain on it, and I couldn't get out."

That's when 20-year-old Robert Taylor, who just happened to be passing by when he saw the house on fire, came to Nolan's aid.

Taylor admits it was a dangerous thing to do, but says he didn't think twice about running inside to rescue his neighbor.  "Everybody, they come up to me like, 'Robert, why did you go in the house? Big gulfs of flames and smoke and all that.' I was like, 'Man, God sent me in that house to get the young man out of there,' and that's what I did."

Taylor has been praised for his heroics, but fire officials don't necessarily recommend people attempt rescues on their own.  "As far as people going in to rescue other people, we don't ask that anybody risk their life. If they can gather information as to where that person is in the house, that can assist when we get there. Will we hold it against someone for trying to go in and save somebody? No. That's a decison they're going to have to make when they're presented with it," said Captain Dustin Ledford with the Lufkin Police Department.

For now, Taylor is just enjoying his time in the spotlight and says he's glad he was able to save someone's life in their time of need.

Taylor says he hasn't heard from Nolan since rescuing him from the fire, but would like to see him again to find out how he's doing.