8-year-old boy rescues 6 relatives from fire, dies trying to save 7th
(CNN) — An 8-year-old boy was killed in a mobile-home fire in upstate New York early Monday while attempting to rescue a disabled family member inside, according to authorities.
Tyler J. Doohan, of East Rochester, was staying at the home of relatives in the nearby town of Penfield on Sunday night, when he noticed a fire in the single-wide trailer, said Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer.
As firefighters and sheriff’s deputies responded to an emergency call around 4:45 a.m., Doohan was able to wake six other people in the small trailer, including two more children, ages 4 and 6, Ebmeyer said.
Then Doohan went back into the blaze to help his uncle who was disabled and would have been unable to get out of the home on his own, Ebmeyer said.
“By that time, the fire had traveled to the back of the trailer,” Ebmeyer said. “Unfortunately they both succumbed to heat and smoke.”
Their bodies were found together in a back bedroom.
Doohan’s grandfather was also killed in the fire, his body found in a front room, Ebmeyer said.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation but believed to be accidental.
The conditions of the six survivors were not immediately available.
Ebmeyer said that he didn’t think the trailer had a working smoke detector. He lamented that with so many people in one small mobile home, one alarm could have easily woken everyone in time in time to escape.
The Penfield Fire Company — a 100% volunteer unit — intends to create a public service initiative to spread awareness and get smoke detectors out to the public, he said.
Meanwhile, Richard Stutzman, Jr., interim superintendent of the East Rochester School District, where Doohan attended fourth grade, issued a statement:
“In bravely and selflessly giving his own life, he was able to save the lives of six others — and he truly is a hero.”
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