A 15-year-old in Stockbridge, Georgia deserves a medal for the type of bravery he exuded on Sunday morning. As a fire consumed the home he lived in with his parents and 25-year-old sister, Michael Haney did his best to get his loved ones out. When he exited the house, it sounds like he realized his parents and sister were still inside, and he ran back in to try and save them.
As a neighbor described:
If it weren’t for Michael, they’d [the parents] be dead. He’s the one that ran upstairs, woke them up, and told them the house was on fire. He took them out and went back for his sister.
The fire allegedly started in the basement, where Michael's room was, so it's plausible he was aware of the situation before anyone else in the home.
Can you imagine the courage it must take to run into a burning house and save your family? It wasn't without risk, either. Michael was airlifted to an Augusta hospital and is now in critical condition; he's being treated for severe smoke inhalation in a hyperbaric chamber.
His sister, Karen, isn't as fortunate. She died at the hospital and an autopsy will discover the cause of death. Evidently, Karen was mentally and physically disabled and fought Michael as he tried to get her out.
Michael's being called a hero, as well he should be. His instinct to put his life in danger in order to save others is a testament to his character and his upbringing. The neighbors explain that they tried to help but it was too smoky -- that didn't stop the determined teen.
His parents are with him in Augusta and everyone's praying for a full recovery as he fights for his life. It sounds like, more than anyone, Michael deserves a second chance.
What do you think of this story?
Photo via tier3media/Flickr