By Michelle Key

For Brandon Taylor and his mother, last Friday morning was like most every other morning; they were up early.

“My mom, she’s been waking up early in the morning for a long time,” Taylor said. “So I am used to getting up.” 

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Taylor’s mom opened up the blinds on a window as she was moving around the apartment and noticed a glare. They realized it was a fire.

“At first I thought it was my car, so I got up and went outside the house and then realized it was a building on fire,” Taylor said.

It was the apartment building that one of his friends lived in, and Taylor ran over to check on his friend and his family, he said.

A woman who lived on the bottom floor of the apartment building told him that there were a woman and her two children still in the apartment on the second floor, Taylor said. He tried to get through the front of the building but couldn’t. However, he saw the woman, Meredith Smith, at a window.

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Smith said that her 13-year-old daughter had already jumped out of the window.

“She’s me and my son’s hero,” Smith said of her daughter. “She jumped out first then caught her brother, who’s six.”

Smith hesitated at the window, and Taylor yelled at her to jump, saying that he would catch her, and he did.

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“I was always told don’t panic when it comes to certain situations,” Taylor said. “You can’t panic, you know, you panic it would have been worsened.”

Taylor said that despite helping to save lives, he is not a hero.

“I am just glad everybody is OK,” he said.

Despite Taylor’s rejection of the label, Smith said that he is her hero.

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“I am so glad he was there,” she said.