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UPDATE: Fire Victim Had Been Trespassing

Conner Daniel McKeown was found unconscious inside a burning Fallston home Thursday night and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

A 20-year-old man died Thursday night following a fire in a Fallston home, authoritiies said.

Conner Daniel McKeown was found unconscious inside the home and was rushed to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center where he was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived, according to a news release from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

McKeown's father, Kevin McKeown, arrived at the home in the 2700 block of Greene Lane around 7:47 p.m. to find smoke and flames coming from the house, according to the release.

Kevin McKeown called 911 before going into the house to find his son. Firefighters helped him and his son get out of the basement. The father was treated for minor burns at the scene, according to state fire marshal's office.

About 50 firefighters from Harford and Baltimore counties battled the blaze for more than two hours. Investigators estimate the fire caused about $100,000 in damage, according to state fire marshal's office.

Investigators, who believe the fire started on the first floor of the home, said they found no working smoke alarms inside the building. The preliminary cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The cause of death will be determined by the state medical examiner. The Harford County Sheriff's Office is assisting in the investigation.

robert November 04, 2011 at 08:24 PM
Maybe people should be more concerned with the fact that someone died, and not the location. We send our prayers to his family and friends.
Jill Bracewell November 04, 2011 at 09:05 PM
Seriously, I agree with "Robert" above, who cares whether this person was trespassing? He DIED!! Regardless of if he was in the house with out permission, a life has been lost. How sad that all people can think about is a trespasser. Why don't we think about this person's mother? Family? Friends? How shallow.
Take Responsibility! November 04, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Robert got that right.
Marcella Schuerholz November 04, 2011 at 11:27 PM
I live on Morningside Ct and my thoughts and prayers are with Connor's family at this time.
Wende Peddicord November 04, 2011 at 11:31 PM
Wow I too agree with Robert. Whatever happened, why he was in this house and where he lived really doesn't matter. A life was lost. My prayers to the family.
figment November 07, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Kristen why the update? I agree with Robert. You sensationalistic headline seems like old news when it says nothing about the horror and tragedy faced by the family and friends. I hope this is not a sign of your journalistic path for the Patch in the future.
Karl Schuub November 07, 2011 at 02:27 PM
Do we know the cause of this fire? I find it odd that three boys broke into a house and a fire erupted - withholding judgement I'd assume the fire was coincidental, but I doubt that. The fact that the kids were inside a home they didn't own is germaine and central to this story regardless of the tragic outcome for one family - I would argue the truth of what happened including the ugly details is that much more important because of the tragedy involved. Any journalist worth his salt isn't here to whitewash a story or hide facts to protect a community from the truth. Why were these kids lighting fires inside an abandoned home?
Ashley November 07, 2011 at 03:12 PM
I agree with Karl... while this is a tragedy for the friends and family it doesn't change that there are many questions left unanswered about this fire. What were they doing there? How did the fire start? How did the father know that he was there? Anyone familiar with where this fire occurred knows that this house is not exactly visible unless you're almost on top of it. I don't mean to be cold or detract from the tragedy that's befallen this family, but there are a lot of holes in this story and the way it's panning out it seems as though the whole thing could have been preventable if he hadn't of been somewhere he wasn't supposed to be. To me, that is the real tragedy.
John Potee November 07, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Listen, Karl. This isn't the place to flex your pseudo-journalism skills. Show a little respect for the "kid lighting fires" He was a friend of mine and many others. Don't scold this journo on his lack of information; some things are better left out of the public, so that we may have a good perception of the now deceased Connor. Nobody is white-washing anything, it's called respect and dignity. Two things of which you have none.
Karl Schuub November 07, 2011 at 03:36 PM
Nothing more respectful and dignified than using someone's tragedy to teach others. If these kids were involved in mischief and it backfired to where it turned into a nightmare for all involved then everyone needs to know what can happen - it doesn't take away from this child's reputation or say anything about the family. Reasonable people recognize teenagers will push the envelope and it doesn't mean they're necessary bad. If some things are better off left out then I'm assuming you'd be OK if a child molester moved next door and it wasn't reported to you because it was "better left out".
John Potee November 07, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Moot point, this situation is in no way comparable to the mal-natured crime of molestation. Find a better analogy. And read the article, Connor wasn't a teenager.
Ashley November 07, 2011 at 03:58 PM
John, it's understandable that you're upset about your friend, but you need to take a step back from your grief and look at it from the perspective Karl is giving you. If Connor was up there doing things he shouldn't have been and something went awry there is a lesson to be learned from it. Better put, your friends death won't have been in vain. It would be like if a kid had too much to drink, but thought they were okay to drive and got into an accident and someone died. The paper wouldn't report it as simply a car accident, but a drunk driving accident. Kids make mistakes, people don't look down upon them for it, but see it for what it was: a bad decision. And while Connor may not have been a teenager, he was still a kid, not even old enough to legally drink.
John Potee November 07, 2011 at 03:58 PM
And why must you have all this information? Do you garner a high stand in society or feel a need to be some sort of avatar for justice and truth on a news article which chronicles and explains the death of a young man? Besides, even if it was an issue of arson, or mischeif, it's now a nonissue. I'm sure whatever the cause, any issue that you have such righteous concern for will be solved in the privacy of the two parties in question
Flightful Crow November 07, 2011 at 04:33 PM
I find it sickening that people are exploting the nature of the issues at hand, people die everyday and pain and sorrow follow but what matters of evidence or the facts of the incident what can it cure, the life is lost and so will many others no matter how well you preach your ideals of teaching Karl and shame on you Ashley for being a follower before thinking logically taking sides in the time of mourning that in its self should be a undignified crime in itself. I don't know Connor, im not going to act like I did but I do see a situation that is bad and people like you are making it worse by starting stuff that need not be brought up during this time so save your civil rights to speak for a later date and if you are so desperate to learn the facts then wait until the truth is said, dont fabricate ideals inside of your heads and spread it like a diease thats high school drama material thier and to close this John was right to stand up to you both for the disrespect you've both brought so thank you john for being respectable enough to handle a adult situation.
Karl Schuub November 07, 2011 at 04:48 PM
With all due respect; nobody is making anything up and certainly not exploiting anybody. My comment was specifically in defense of the headline to this story. Would you expect a journalist to hide facts? Sometimes we don't like the truth and sometimes the truth is very painful to some or maybe even most, but it's there. I don't need to have full specifics in this case to know these kids had broken into a house; that in and of itself is a felony and then acted with at minimum conscious disregard for someone else's property - either they were being extraordinarily irresponsible with fire or where deliberately trying to burn the place - there is no in between. If the boys had been caught and arrested, charged and spent time in prison would you want that silenced as well? Prison would certainly have been preferable to this outcome. What a waste of a young life...all the kids need to see it for what it is and learn a very important lesson in life about priorities and doing the right thing - in that this horrendous event will have some value.
Ashley November 07, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Yes, lives are lost and so will many others, but what if teaching saved at least one life? Would you feel that it's worth it then? My heart sincerely goes out to the friends and family of Connor, the pain of losing a loved one cannot be compared. The point I was trying to get across was that this could have been prevented, but since it was not then it should be taught to educate others so that the same mistakes are not made again. Other than that Karl said everything I was going to respond with above. People may not want to hear the bad things, but that are part of this story and could do some good if heard by the right people.
Ryan November 07, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Karl and Ashley, the house was abandoned and its in a field. there wasnt multiple kids involved breaking and entering. i reside w/ in 500 yds of the house. i wasnt home thursday night but i have neighbors who were on the scene. the details of this are tragic an should remain private.
Karl Schuub November 08, 2011 at 12:13 AM
Did the house belong to them? Is 3 not multiple? It's breaking and entering regardless and it's a felony. Would you crawl through the window of a place you didn't own abandoned or not? Should Fallston kids have some sort of shield of silence that other kids from less prosperous families don't have? How did the fire start? If the kids were trying to burn the place then shame on them.
Mac Nelson November 08, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Karl, stop trying to blame the kid, it wasn't all his fault. Okay he was trespassing, but he was just trying to light the fireplace. You need to shut up and have respect for the dead. It was one kid that was in the fire and his dad tried to save him. The rest should be private. Leave it at that and do yourself a favor and don't comment again.
Mac Nelson November 08, 2011 at 12:43 AM
And shame on you for not having respect for the deceased.
Karl Schuub November 08, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Trespassing is walking across someone's property without permission; breaking and entering is crawling or otherwise accessing a home through a window or door. You are completely missing the point here. It is a damned shame this happened; so much a shame that the details and the story need to be looked at for what it is. I've lit many fired in my day and it never resulted in a house catching fire - making whatever these kids were up to seem like an innocuous activity gets us nowhere.
Lucy November 08, 2011 at 02:16 PM
A few days after the incident, not even a week, is a bit soon to be clamoring for the private details and saying this situation should be turned into a learning experience. So many tragedies can be called preventable; so many are simply someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or making poor decisions. It doesn't make them any less tragic to those left behind. It's absolute speculation to say the fire was maliciously set, or even set as a fireplace fire. Though I'm not familiar with many arsonists, I'm not sure how many set fires intending to burn houses that they're still inside of. There are also natural ways for fires to occur or for situations to get out of hand, especially in an old wooden house. An errant cigarette? The fire marshal is investigating the cause, so there is no definitive answer until it is proven. The repeated use of the word kid when referring to an article about a 20-year-old, the assumption that the fire was set with intent to destroy, and bringing up class/wealth as a factor, this all says more about the commenter than the comments.
Karl Schuub November 08, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Nobody is making any assumptions except that fire wasn't coincidental to the fact the kids had broken into this house. If you believe that's possible then it says more about the commenter as well.
Sylvie November 08, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Karl: Nobody is making any assumptions here? Really? You even used the phrase "I'm assuming" in one of your posts here.And the fact that you routinely phrase your assumptions in the form of questions does not change the fact that you are bringing up ideas of your own that are not stated in the article at all.
Karl Schuub November 08, 2011 at 06:18 PM
Sylvie: People who wish to make responsible and valuable judgements in life must rely in large measure on what is most likely...eg..."it's raining therefore I'm likely to get wet without an umbrella" for example. It isn't exactly a stretch to assume these three kids were doing something in that house that started a fire. The outcome is an incalculable tragedy for one family, and a lesson to all because of how easily the entire thing could have been avoided. Nobody is attacking this kid nor assumes the kid was a bad kid, just a kid who made a series of very bad choices. To those that apparently would prefer we just gloss this over to the point of wishing the press would lie about it; I say shame on you. There's a teachable moment here that ought not be missed.
Lucy November 08, 2011 at 07:20 PM
No one seems to be saying they don't think the fire was started by those who were in the house; you're the only one who has attributed motive or mischief to it through your comments. It was just as likely an accident. Those rescued were apparently rescued from a basement when the fire originated in the living room. It seems unlikely to me that people would attempt to burn down a house while still inside of it. All of this, however, remains speculation. I would expect that there haven't been journalistic answers to the sorts of questions you've raised because, again, barely a week has passed and this is not a television show where they have to wrap up a story in under an hour. I doubt it can be attributed to anything but the time it takes to conduct a thorough investigation. I hope that my comment does say a lot about me. I knew Connor for a brief period in life and I don't claim to know what happened during this tragedy, or how easily it could have been avoided, but I value his life and that of those affected. I don't consider the sum of a tragedy to be what others can learn from it. Yours is a hurtful point of view to take, and you may not see that, but people directly affected by this loss may not want to hear about what others can theoretically learn from what mistakes you assume were made.
Mike November 09, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Karl: I question why you are more concerned with the background concerning this tragedy than what actually matters. A life was lost, you need to realize this. Also, you need to actually make points or comebacks rather than just repeat what you are saying. I believe everyone on here is aware that trespassing is illegal, but thanks for the lesson. These young men were out for a good time and they had an accident that claimed the life of their friend. Show some empathy and at the very least some respect. Getting on some stupid internet forum to make a point hiding behind your computer screen is pretty bold. Forget the details and look at the big picture, whether they trespassed or not will not bring back Connor.
Karl Schuub November 09, 2011 at 11:29 PM
The big picture must include the manner in which this happened. I've never even suggested this isn't a tragedy - this life wasn't lost in a vacuum. You're correct in that this very young man will not come back - but the circumstances of the tragedy as a learning tool belong to everyone.
Julia November 10, 2011 at 04:14 AM
I think what matters most is that we all mind our own business, respect Connor's Familyand keep The McKeown's in our thoughts and in our prayer's...May God Bless Connor and keep him in His care. ENOUGH SAID.
Hollie November 14, 2011 at 04:02 PM
I'm a close friend of Connors and for anyone to automatically assume that it was a dumb kid being in the wrong place doing the wrong thing is unfortunate. Especially that someone could be so ignorant. Connor was a great person, a great friend and loved his family and friends more than anything. He was very smart and very talented. A great life was lost no matter how this happened which I think is a very personal reason and is not necessary to be shared with strangers. He was by himself and nowhere in this article does it state it was a bunch of kids. Let's not judge based on silly opinions of today's upper class youth.


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