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Mother of nine-year-old killed saving others from Penfield fire remembers her "little hero"

Updated: 01/22/2014 11:37 AM
Created: 01/21/2014 11:18 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

For the first time, we are hearing from the mother of the young boy killed while trying to rescue family members from a burning home.

Many call Tyler Doohan's actions heroic. Police say the nine-year-old died early Monday, after a fire broke out while he was staying with family members at a mobile home in Penfield.

Two of Tyler’s family members also died in the fire.

Crystal Vrooman told me she is so proud of her son. This young man not only woke up a house full of sleeping people to warn them of fire, but he went back to try to save his grandfather. 

Tonight Lynette Adams caught up with Vrooman as she ventured out to get some food for her family.

“I’ve cried so much, I’ve cried so much it just doesn't seem real. I don't know, it’s just so hard. I'm never going to see him again,” said Vrooman. 

The pain is so great, Crystal Vrooman is almost at a loss of words. She gains strength as she talks about her son, Tyler Doohan, the child she says only wanted to have friends.

“If anybody ever picked on him he would come home and cry about it, and I would tell him, it's alright they're just jealous of you. He just wanted friends, he would never fight back. Today he's my little hero.”

As Vrooman goes over the events of yesterday, her mind goes back a conversation she recently had with Tyler that she thought, was odd.

“A week ago he was talking with his stepdad and a friend of ours. And I don’t' even know how they got into the conversation. They said when they go they're going to go out with a big bang and Tyler jumped up and he said, ‘I'm going to do it big when I go. He's like, everybody's going to know.’”

While the young mother is numb with the loss of her son, she says what she's heard about his final moments, comes as no surprise.

“He heard my dad screaming for help, ‘what is going on, what is going on’. He ran back in there and tried to get him. My sister I guess saw him in there tried to grab Tyler’s hand and went to open the window. By the time she turned around, Tyler was gone. He was over with my dad.”

Vrooman says if there is anything positive that can come from this, she says she thankful Tyler didn't die alone. She also expressed appreciation for the outpouring of love and support she is receiving from the community.

If you would like to help, you can click this link: http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/8-year-old-hero-lost-his-life-in-a-fire-trying-to-save-other/128453.



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