KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A KCK woman remains in serious condition at a KU hospital after she barely escaped a house fire that destroyed her home. It could have been a different story if Stacey Keagy's husband hadn't desperately tried to save her.
Timothy Keagy is the kind of guy you want to have around in a crisis; the kind of guy who would put his life on the line to save his wife.
"I love my wife, I almost lost her," said Keagy, barely containing his tears.
It's tough for him to talk about. Less than 24 hours ago he was frantically trying to save his wife from a raging house fire that left his home in the 2400 block of South 13th Terrace a shell of what it used to be. Keagy said he and his wife Stacey were sleeping Monday when just before 10:00 p.m., he heard a loud pop and went to check it out.
“As soon as I opened up the back door, the flames expanded, took up off the wall. I ran next door to my neighbors house and tried to grab a hose but it was too short, so I went to go back in and couldn’t get back in the back door and at that time I was hollering. Stacey was hollering back that she couldn’t get out," Keagy said.
His wife was trapped inside the burning house screaming for help, so Keagy ran around to the front door, but it was locked. Keagy said he did the next best thing, “Busted out the window on the front door, opened the door, at that time the smoke hit me and I knew I wouldn't be able to get back to the back bedroom.”
Keagy said he knew he had to get his wife out, so he frantically ran around his house, busting out windows to try and find a way in. When he was finally able to find a spot to get in, Keagy found his wife and carried her out of the smoke and flames.
“I don’t consider myself a hero. It’s my wife, we married to death do us part and it was too soon," Keagy said.
In the light of day, Keagy walked around what is left of his home and belongings. Charred and melted memories of a life he and Stacey built together, thankful that he was able to save his most prized possession.
Stacey Keagy is still in the Intensive Care Unit, but doing better. She does not have any burns, but is suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.
The fire started in the Keagy house and spread next door to the Cochrans' garage. The two families have lived next to each other for over 30 years, and said they are more than neighbors... they are family.
Neighborhood residents said this is such a tight-knit community, when the fire got close to the Cochrans, several neighbors ran in to get Mrs. Cochran out of harm's way. Firefighters worked feverishly to save the Cochran's house, but the family's garage is a total loss.
Stephen Cochran said there are a lot of childhood memories in the garage that burned down. He said to watch the flames take it was tough, saying, “me and my brothers and our dad put our heart and soul in that, and in the matter of an hour, it’s all gone.”
Stephen, his two brothers and father built the garage together. Every nail, every board, every shingle was a labor of love, even more special since his father died in 2009. Cochran said he is going to rebuild the garage in honor of his dad.