An 8 year old kid died this past weekend trying to save his Uncle when a fire destroyed his grandfather’s trailer home in Penfield, N.Y. Tyler Doohan, a local hero who is only in fourth grade, had already saved six of his family members from dying in the fire, two of them under the age of six, before returning one more time to try to save his sleeping Uncle.
Tyler died along with his grandfather Louis J. Beach and his uncle Steve Smith. The body of the 8 year old was found near the body of his Uncle’s bed after the fire was put out. According to the local newspaper in Penfield, N.Y. the Democrat & Chronicle he detected the fire around 4:45 a.m. Monday morning. The paper said that they had spoken to local investigators who said that Tyler had then decided it was his responsibility to wake all of his sleeping relatives, alert them of the fire and to help his youngest relatives out of the burning trailer home.
Tyler was not even supposed to stay at his grandfather’s house that night, but knowing he had off from school on Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday he asked his mom if it would be alright. Tyler stayed there sometimes in the summer where he had friends and enjoyed neighborhood barbecues and bonfires.
“The kid has more guts than I know of, Tyler’s uncle, Joseph Breyett, told a local news team. “I mean to run back in there and go through what he went through to try and save his uncle – what can you say for the kid? He was a great kid.”
Breyette also said that it is hard to understand this tragedy and “put your hands around it” he also said that it makes you wonder what the “plan of life is.”
Tyler’s school superintendent called Tyler a kind, caring boy who was always wearing a smile at school. He also said that he has gotten emails from some of his staff who said that when they heard about an 8 year old showing that kind of bravery, they were not surprised to hear it was Tyler. They said that that was just the kind of kid he always was. The superintendent, Richard Stutzman Jr., also said that everyone in East Rochester holds Tyler in their hearts as a hero for dying trying to save his uncle, after already saving six family members in a trailer home fire.
The fire is reportedly the cause of an electrical malfunction. No foul play is suspected in the event but many witnesses and neighbors expressed their concern that there were too many people living in the small trailer park home and that that could have been a problem.
Those who survived the fire were taken to the hospital but did not have major injuries.
Penfield’s Fire Chief said that “the roof had 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.”
Chris Ebmeyer added that in the back of the trailer they found the other deceased male lying in bed and the body of the 8 year old only a few feet away. Tyler was able to rescue his aunt, grandmother and multiple cousins from the fire before he died trying to save another family member.
By Nick Manai