MEMPHIS, Tenn. --
Jackson firefighter Richard Taylor said he still finds it hard to believe how close he came to death while fighting a fire at a South Jackson abandoned church.
"If they got me out 35 to 45 seconds later I'd be dead," Taylor said. "I just heard the crackling of the fire and I could see an orange glow in the distance."
On Oct. 26, Taylor suffered severe burns while searching for possible victims inside a massive fire at the old McDowell Road Baptist Church.
"I had to get on my hands and knees because it got so hot," Taylor said.
Taylor said the trouble began when he got disoriented and passed out from heat exhaustion. He was all alone in the building.
"I prayed: Well, Lord, take care of my wife and family, Taylor said. I never thought you'd get disoriented and stuck in a place like this, but I said If you'd send someone an angel up to get me -- if this is not my time to go I'd appreciate it."
Fellow firefighter Corey Landrum was outside the church
"Sure enough, I heard someone hollering for help. I get to the top of the stairway and the room is full of smoke and heat," Landrum said. "I was just pretty much going to the sound of his voice."
Landrum was able to find Taylor moments later.
"I stood him up and he fell down and all I could do was drag him to the stairwell," Landrum said.
The two made it out just in time. Taylor had less than a minute of air left in his airpack.
Almost three weeks later, Taylor is being treated for third degree burns at a Memphis burn center.
"Its not too often that you get a second chance at life and I intend to make the best of it," Taylor said.
Taylor underwent skin graft surgery earlier this week and was expected to be released from the hospital on Friday.