A little 8-year boy who saved six relatives as fire whipped through their Western NY trailer home was found dead a few feet from his disabled uncle whom he was trying to save. His uncle and grandfather perished in the blaze.
Tyler lived in numerous homes and had been in several school districts in his short life. Neighbors said he was a “wild boy” but he really was a remarkable hero.
The school district issued the following announcement:
“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.”
Investigators believe the fourth-grader then ran to the back of the trailer where his wheelchair-bound uncle, who was missing a part of his leg, was sleeping. He never made it out of the home.
The boy’s other uncle, Joseph Breyette, said his young nephew heard Smith calling for help inside the house and rushed in to get him.
‘The kid has got more guts than I know of,’ Breyette said. ‘I mean to run back in there and go through what he went through to try to save his uncle, what can you say for the kid? He was a great kid.’
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, N.Y. 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. (Submitted)
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