Community comes together to help Sherman family devastated by house fire

Chautauqua County

SHERMAN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Many people are coming together to try and help a family in Chautauqua County. They lost their one-year-old son, Watson Taylor in a deadly house fire this week.

Their home was destroyed as well.

Right now, the easiest way to help is to donate to a GoFundMe page that has been set up for the family of Josh and Tiffany Taylor. The Sherman Fire Department and The Cooler Cafe, a restaurant down the street that is also accepting donations — mainly materials needs.

Early Tuesday morning, flames tore through the home at 157 West Main Street in Sherman. The family says Watson would’ve turned two years old, two weeks from Friday.

“Losing Watson is horrible,” said Julie Griswold, the cousin of Tiffany Taylor, who is the mother of the children, “He was a daddy’s boy.”

Julie has set up the GoFundMe for the family. Five children and Tiffany were inside the home when the flames broke out. 12-year-old Elliye and 7-year-old Miles had to jump out of a second-story window and suffered severe burns. They’re receiving intensive care at a hospital in Pittsburgh. Tiffany’s twin four-year-old boys made it out safely.

Watson Taylor

“These doctors basically confirmed that somethings happened like that because the way her hands and face was burned, but her chest was fine and his back was burnt, they’re thinking she held him and then ran through the fires,” Julie said, “They have been told that Elliye will be there maybe 3-4 months at least up there, Miles will be longer.”

The family is doing its best to keep things together.

“We’re staying very busy, it’s probably not the right word, but I’m almost trying to separate from it the immediate family is obviously very emotionally tore up from it,” Julie said.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office says the cause of the fire was the result of an electrical issue at the home — all their belongings were destroyed. More than $60,000 has been raised through the Go Fund Me — money that will be used for bills and a new house.

“Even if people can’t donate money to send prayers, good thoughts, good vibes, keep us in your thoughts the two kids at the hospital have a very long road ahead of them,” Julie said.

On Saturday at 5 p.m., a candlelight vigil will be held at the scene of the fire, at 157 West Main Street in Sherman. The Cooler Cafe, a restaurant just down the street will have a raffle to benefit the family. The Sherman Fire Department is accepting donations as well.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.

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