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8-Year-Old Dies Trying To Save Relatives From Burning Trailer

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
January 22, 2014

There’s a heartbreaking story coming out of Penfield, N.Y.: An 8-year-old boy died Monday as he was trying to save his uncle and grandfather from a burning trailer.

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Tyler J. Doohan alerted six people — including two children, ages 4 and 6 — to the fire before he tried to wake up his disabled uncle and grandfather.

The paper reports that the trailer was a place Tyler knew well:

“He stayed there frequently, playing with other kids in the neighborhood and having barbecues and bonfires with his family in the summer.

“It was in the back bedroom of that small, single-wide trailer at 39 Fondiller Ave. that firefighters found Tyler’s body Monday morning, just a few feet away from the bed of his disabled Uncle Steve, who investigators believe Tyler was trying to save.

“Firefighters say Tyler, an 8-year-old who seemingly spent much of his young life in different homes and school districts, was killed along with his grandfather, Louis J. Beach, 57, and Steven D. Smith, 54, in a fire that appears to have been caused by an electrical problem at the front of the trailer.”

Richard Stutzman Jr., the interim superintendent of the East Rochester Union Free School District, said Tyler was a fourth-grader at one of his schools.

“In bravely and selflessly giving his own life, he was able to save the lives of six others — and he truly is a hero,” Stutzman said in a statement.

The Associated Press reports that an online campaign has been started to raise money for Tyler’s funeral. [Copyright 2014 NPR]

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