Fire safety event held in honor of late Penfield boy

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EAST ROCHESTER, N.Y. It’s been almost a decade since a Penfield boy died trying to save his family from a fire.

Ever since then, the East Rochester Fire Department has been teaching kids what to do in case of a fire. Wednesday afternoon, East Rochester students in grades kindergarten through second grade stopped by the firehouse.

This event is held in honor of East Rochester student Tyler Doohan. He died in 2014 trying to save his family. His home did not have working smoke detectors, which is why the fire department does this every year.

The department let the kids dress up in fire gear and ask any questions they had, all while teaching lifesaving lessons about fire safety. They honored the memory of Doohan, whose death inspired this project.

Tyler was just 8 years old when he rescued six relatives from their burning home in Penfield. He died a hero. We spoke to kids about what they learned and to the fire department about why they do this annual event.

“If [smoke detectors] they beep in your house, you have to get out, and before that, you have to make a meeting place and then you all meet and you dial 911,” second grader Quinn Pintagio said.

“We don’t want them putting themselves into danger for their pets, for their toys,” East Rochester Fire Department Capt. Michael Haydanek said. “Understanding these messages that we teach them, although they’re in honor of Tyler Doohan, that they’re learning from that instance.”

Each student got a free smoke detector with a ten-year battery for their home. Haydanek says these events matter and that every year the students come back remembering what they learned.