"He was a great kid," father Chris Fanning said. "Typical teen, but a great kid. Well-liked."
Chris Fanning says he and his wife never imagined they'd be preparing to bury their only son. But the 18-year-old died in the off-campus house, where the friends he was trying to save lived.
Childhood friend Chris Colella was left speechless by the news.
"I literally couldn't speak," he said. "I didn't want to believe it."
Even though Fanning is being hailed a hero, campus officers warned students about the dangers of going back into a burning building. It appears Fanning died of smoke inhalation. At Kings Park High School, friends described the recent graduate as an avid musician who was about to start his own radio show. His father says he was happily thriving in college.
"He had his own opinions," Colella said. "We're going to miss him tremendously. They say the good die young. In this case, it's true."
NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS
SEND TIP OR PHOTO || REPORT TYPO || GET WIDGET
EYEWITNESS TWITTER || FIND US ON FACEBOOK