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Couple loses home to fire while helping others evacuate

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MORONI — Firefighters made good progress Monday, helping to contain the Wood Hollow Fire, which is about 15 percent contained. But the stories of those who lost property are heartbreaking.

Some families have nothing left, except for the clothes they are wearing.

"We are so blessed. We have each other," said Janice Taylor who lost her house in the fire. "Neither one of us were harmed. We have a wonderful family, wonderful friends and those are the things we are grateful for."

For families who just lost everything they own, Dave and Janice Taylor carry with them a feeling of hope. Dave Taylor built their home, first as a weekend getaway. It later became their permanent home and place for six children and 19 grandchildren to visit.

"We are gonna be blessed," Dave Taylor said. "We'll just take one day at a time, one bridge at a time and move forward. We'll rebound, we are gonna make it."

When the fire broke out on Saturday evening, Dave Taylor, a volunteer member of the Sanpete County Search and Rescue, jumped into action assisting police blocking roads to the fire through Sunday afternoon.

By then, however, it was too late to go home and retrieve any of his own personal belongings.

"It was tough to look across the valley and know where it was supposed to be," Taylor said. "Is it still there? We don't know." - Dave Taylor

"It was tough to look across the valley and know where it was supposed to be," Taylor said. "Is it still there? We don't know. The devastation that we witnessed is hard to explain. Some places nothing touched and the home next to it — totally gone.

"According to our fire chief today," Taylor added, "there was a 100-foot wall of fire when it went through when it hit our place. Unbelievable."

But the Taylor's have no regrets. They will never know if they could have saved their property or if he saved someone's life by keeping them out of the fire zone.

"You can't sit by and the fire coming and know that people are gonna be harmed and not do something to help," Janice Taylor said. "We are not heroes; we did what anybody else would do. He's my hero."

The Taylor's spent the evening in the Provo area buying new clothes and personal items. They say they are lucky because their property is insured. In the meantime, they are getting a lot of support from the good people in Sanpete County.


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Sam Penrod


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