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A true survivor

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By Shannon Brock

An angel knocked on Karla Taylor’s door on Oct. 6.

Whether real or an angel in disguise, someone repeatedly knocked on the door at 103 Ray Court to warn those who lived inside that their home was on fire.

Taylor, 31, a registered nurse, and her two children were sitting upstairs that night when the doorbell started ringing and someone started pounding on the door. Taylor said she kept asking, “Who is it? Who is it?” But no one responded.

“My son kind of freaked out and told me not to answer the door,” she said. “He asked me to call the police, so I did, since they would not identify themselves.”

Shortly after the call to the police, Taylor said the electricity went out in her living room, and her home phone went out. That’s when she noticed the smoke rolling in from under the door to the back deck.

Taylor said that through a window she could see the glare from the flames that had started on her deck. She sent her children down the stairs and told them to run to her boyfriend’s house, which was just a few streets over.

Taylor and her children, a 12-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter, all made it out of the house unharmed, but they still don’t know who knocked on the door that night.

“It must have been an angel,” said Kathy Campbell, who works with Taylor’s family through the Family Resource Center at Saffell Street Elementary School.

Since the house was deemed unfit to live in after the fire, Taylor has been staying with her sister, and her children have been staying with her parents.

So fortunately, no one was at the house when its insulation started smoldering the next night.

Still, a call saying that the house she’d been living in was on fire a second time wasn’t one Taylor wanted to get.

The first fire was ruled an electrical fire, and firefighters think it started from an electrical outlet on the deck.

“They said they had seen problems with this particular outlet just igniting,” Taylor said.

Taylor said she didn’t think her family lost everything in the fire.

“Some of it should be salvageable,” she said.

However, the Taylor family could use some extra help, Campbell said.

“I know how Karla is, and I know she hates to ask, but we need the community’s help,” Campbell said.

Not only is Taylor dealing with her family’s losses with the fire, but she has been battling a serious illness, which she preferred not to disclose, for the past year.

“She’s such a strong, wonderful woman,” Campbell said. “She’s got such a strong spirit, and she’s living for her kids. She’s always so upbeat.”

Taylor has continued to work through her illness, although treatments only allow her to do so a couple days each week.

“I’m going to be fine,” Taylor said, with the utmost optimism. “I’ve learned to laugh. I’d rather laugh than cry. I know God’s not going to give me any more than I can handle.”

As optimistic as she is, Taylor’s family still needs a place to live, clothes and a living room suit, at the least, Campbell said.

In an effort to help Taylor’s family, an account has been set up at LNB. Donations are being accepted into the “Karla Taylor/Kevin Satterly” account. Satterly is Taylor’s father.

“She just wants her family back together,” Campbell said. “And we want to see her beat this sickness and be happy.”

Taylor said she’s just happy neither of her kids was hurt.

“All that other stuff can be replaced,” she said. “But my kids cannot.”

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.