Ooltewah man burned in house fire lives to tell about it - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ooltewah man burned in house fire lives to tell about it

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Story Megan Boatwright

Eyewitness News Reporter

OOLTEWAH, TN. (WRCB)--We were at his home in Ooltewah Saturday as firefighters sifted through the smoldering mess.

Darrell Caylor credits God and his brother's quick thinking for his survival. He was asleep while the front of his home burned. He says his dog jumped on him and that's what woke him up.

It seems more than one thing was working in Darrell Caylor's favor Saturday. Between his dog rousing him out of his sleep and his brother who lives next door and walked outside at just the right time.

"If I had been in there 30 more seconds than I would not have survived," says Caylor.

His brother Darrin Jump dialed 911 after seeing Caylor fall to the ground.

"He said his TV flickered and he said he walked out on the porch to see what was going on and he said that he seen me just come and just collapse," says Caylor.

And there's one more thing. Caylor bought his home from his grandmother after her death. He says he's always thought of her as a guardian angel.

"Right before I collapsed, my grandmother was standing at the gate motioning me to come on and then I just blacked out," says Caylor.

So what do all those circumstances add up to? For this man the message is clear.

"God had it in his plan. It wasn't my time to go," says Caylor.

But the 39-year-old also knows the road ahead will be bumpy. After being transported to the Augusta burn unit Saturday, Caylor was released and traveled back home Sunday night. Monday morning he's back at Erlanger.

"After being released from the burn unit, all the way home I kept swelling more and more," says Caylor. 

He has flash burns on his face and severe smoke inhalation. And then there's the issue of his home.

"I don't know if I'll buy or rebuild a modular or what I'll do yet," says Caylor.

But in Caylor's words he's trying to see it through 'eyes of faith', believing everything will work out.

"I'm trusting God that everything's going to be just fine," says Caylor.

Late Monday afternoon, investigators ruled the fire accidental.

Caylor told them he got out of the house, but went back in to find his dog and that's when he breathed in a lot of smoke.

Investigators say his injuries wouldn't have been as severe if he'd stayed outside.


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