Trapped and alone in a smoke-filled room with zero visibility, flames raging outside and the temperature rapidly rising to hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit, Airman 1st Class William Taylor realized that he was alone. His only hope of staying alive was to get himself out of there – and fast.
“I was afraid for my life – I can honestly say I was burning,” recalled now-Chief Master Sgt. Taylor, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron installation fire chief, remembering the horrors as he spoke. “All I could think of was, ‘how am I going to get out of here?’ because there was only one way out of this room. My wife was pregnant with our daughter and all I could think of was that I might die in there and leave my child and wife alone.”