2 killed in Cross Plains house fire ID'd


CROSS PLAINS, Texas - Authorities have identified a mother and son who died in a Saturday morning house fire in Cross Plains.

Killed in the blaze were Sherry Ables, 68, and son Norman Taylor, 50, according to the Callahan County Sheriff's Office.

Curtis Taylor lived in that house with his wife and kids. He said he tried returning to the home to save his mother, Sherry, and brother.

"I got in there, I ran in and the heat and everything caught me so fast that I had to fall down to the ground," Taylor said. "[I] crawled on my knees through the house to find them."

Ables died trying to save her son, Norman, who was quadriplegic and bedridden, the sheriff's office said.

"I had to finally jump through the bathroom to get out," Taylor said. "My mom just wouldn't leave my brother."

Fire officials believe squirrels helped spark the flames, according to Cross Plains Police Chief Don Gosnell.

"It appeared the fire started in the attic," Chief Gosnell said. "More than likely by squirrels chewing on wiring."

"It's just hard to put yourself in their position and see what they're going through," Gosnell said.

Chief Deputy Rick Jowers said his office arrived to the fire at 5:40 a.m. after the homeowner called dispatch.

The Cross Plains Volunteer Fire Department and Rising Star Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene as well as the sheriff's office.

Five people were inside the home located at 508 N. 3 rd St. The only three that made it out alive were Curtis Taylor's wife and his two young children.

Taylor said the outpouring of the community has been overwhelming.

"We have lost a mom and a brother, and gained a bigger family than ever."

The home was considered a complete loss. The family said if people want to help, they opened up an account at Texas Heritage Bank under the name Curtis Taylor.