Hometown Hero | Joshua Taylor

An off-duty volunteer firefighter is being honored for going above and beyond the call of duty in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 5:57 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TORNADO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An off-duty volunteer firefighter is being honored for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Joshua Taylor has been in the fire service for more than 18 years. During that time, he has responded to lots of emergencies while on-call.

However, late in the evening on Tuesday, July 11, Taylor was off the clock, home at his apartment along Ferrell Road when he suddenly heard smoke alarms and cries for help.

His neighbor’s unit had caught fire. With no protective gear or backup, Taylor ran into that unit -- putting himself in harm’s way to save the woman trapped inside.

“The training kicked in and I just went in without even thinking.” said Taylor as he recalled the rescue. “She was laying on the floor by her wheelchair. The whole room was just pretty much engulfed.”

Taylor fought through the intense smoke and flames to get to her and pull her out.

“I bent down and grabbed her underneath her armpits,” Taylor said. “Just bent down and drug her while I was still on my feet. I was actually in the smoke so I actually held my breath.”

In the chaos of getting her out, Taylor made another life-saving move. He shut the door behind him to keep the flames from spreading and then called the fire department.

Danny Dalton, Deputy Fire Chief of the West Side Volunteer Fire Department, says he’s not surprised by Taylor’s actions.

“It’s pretty impressive. Josh saved that lady’s life and kept the building from burning to the ground,” said Dalton. “Josh is just a dedicated individual to the fire service as a whole.”

Days after the fire, fellow volunteer firefighters gathered for a ceremony at the fire station where Taylor was presented the Hometown Hero award.

Both Taylor and the woman he rescued suffered some injuries, but thankfully both are going to be OK.