Just As I Thought

Michael James Keenan

Michael Keenan, shown with his friend Stacie Krajchir, died Tuesday from burns he suffered while saving another friend’s dog in February.

Back in February, the Bay Area heard the story of Michael Keenan; he suffered severe burns when he ran back into a burning building to save his friend’s dog. He has now died from those injuries.
I don’t know Michael Keenan, but I have followed the updates on his condition ever since that story. I don’t know, I just felt like it was a heroic and compassionate thing he did, and when I imagine myself in the same position I like to think that I would have done the same.
But Keenan did it more than once. Even after death.

In 2001, Mr. Keenan saw a car drive into the bay near the St. Francis Yacht Club. He jumped into the water, broke out a window with a heavy wrench and managed to pull a woman to safety. Her husband drowned.
“He will always be my hero for life,” the rescued woman, Heather Rosnow-Laarif, said Monday.
Mr. Keenan had been house sitting for a friend on Bonita Street, waiting for renovations to be completed on his own apartment, when the early morning blaze broke out. He made it out of the townhouse safely before realizing the dog was still inside.
Mr. Keenan was a lifelong dog lover. He later told a longtime friend, Frank Hsieh, that he had thought he could get the dog quickly, but found he had to search a while before finding the 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Bobby, cowering under a bed.
The dog survived after treatment at a local animal hospital.
For several weeks, friends and family said they were optimistic about Mr. Keenan’s chances. But he suffered an infection recently that set back his progress, and he had a stroke Sunday night, Kelly said.
Mr. Keenan was pronounced brain dead Monday. Even then, his heroics weren’t quite through. He wanted to donate his organs, so doctors kept his body on life support for purposes of finding a match. [San Francisco Chronicle]

This is an amazing person. And he will be remembered that way, even by people who didn’t know him, like me.

Bobby, the dog saved in a house fire by Michael Keenan, is reunited with his owner, Jeanette Gerl. Chronicle file photo by Liz Hafalia

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