ONLY ON KRON4: Close friends hold memorial service for man killed in North Bay Firestorm


SAN JOSE (KRON) — The Tubbs Fire that ripped through Santa Rosa homes has claimed one more life.

Michel Azarian fought to stay alive for two months after he was found badly burned outside his home.

In San Jose, his close friends laid him to rest in a celebration of life this weekend.

Friends say Michel Azarian had a zest for life. In a family of survivors, he never gave up against the odds.

Azarian’s grandparents escaped the Armenian genocide to Lebanon where he managed to get to a university, finished top of his class, and eventually landed a job in America.

“His intellectual abilities were one of a kind,” friend Khachadour Papayan said. “He was a brilliant person. There was no doubt about it.”

Azarian loved nature, and Santa Rosa was the perfect place to call home. He traveled the world making friends along the way.

Sadly, his adventures were cut short when on an early morning in October, the fast-moving Tubbs Fire burned his home on Mark West Springs Road.

Azarian made it out but was burned on more than 60 percent of his body.

He lay there overnight holding on until help arrived in the morning.

Azarian was flown to UC Davis hospital where for two months, he fought to stay alive. But two weeks ago, he lost that fight.

Friends say Azarian’s Santa Rosa-based company Keysight Technologies was there for him throughout recovery and flew his mom out from Lebanon so she could see her son one last time.



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