8-Year-Old Boy Remembered As Hero After Saving Six
An 8-year-old boy who died after saving six relatives from a fast-moving blaze in his grandfather's trailer home in western New York is being remembered as a hero.
Tyler J. Doohan awoke his grandmother, aunt and cousins, including two children ages 4 and 6, after spotting the fire early Monday in the single-wide trailer off Route 441 in Penfield. Firefighters said Tyler's body was later found near the bed of his disabled uncle, Steven D. Smith, 54, whom he was trying to save, as well as his 57-year-old grandfather, Louis J. Beach, the Democrat & Chronicle reports.
"The roof has collapsed on the front half of the trailer and one of the individuals was found there, probably on a couch, but there was nothing left to even see if it was furniture," Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer told the newspaper. "In the rear, there was a bedroom and the other deceased male was found in a bed. The child was a few feet away."
Chief Ebmeyer said Tyler "saved those six other people" from a fire that apparently started due to an electrical problem.
Neighbors and school officials, meanwhile, remembered Tyler as an energetic boy who spent much of his young life in different homes and school districts.
According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Tyler wanted to spend his MLK holiday weekend at his grandparent's. Tyler loved the place and enjoyed playing with the neighbors.
"With great sadness, the East Rochester School District confirms one of the three victims of an early-morning fire in Penfield was a fourth-grade boy at our school," reads a news release from interim Superintendent Richard Stutzman Jr. "It is extremely important to remember that, according to emergency personnel, [Tyler] was the person who discovered the fire and tried to wake the eight other people in the residence at the time. In bravely and selflessly giving his own life, he was able to save the lives of six others and he is truly a hero."
Neighbor Tara DiMartino said Tyler, often a mischievous boy, enjoyed playing kickball and tag.
"Tyler was always outside playing around, getting into things," she told the newspaper. "He was only there on occasion. During the summer there was always a lot of cookouts and bonfires and he was over there."
Some neighbors said they had been told by occupants of the trailer that officials of Morgan Management, which owns the Monroe County Park, deemed it unlivable on at least one occasion and were concerned by the number of people living there.
"There was too many people, where would you put all those people?" neighbor Michelle Brosseau said, adding that she considered notifying county officials. "Now, maybe, I wish I had called."