The loss of any child's precious life is a heartbreaking tragedy. Add in the horrific details of how that young person actually died trying to save another human being and you can't help but feel your heart bleed for the child and his family. Tyler J. Doohan was an 8-year-old boy from upstate New York who was staying at his grandfather's mobile home this past weekend. After noticing a fire break out in the small trailer, he was able to wake up six other people, including a 4-year-old and 6-year-old, ensuring they got out of the home safely.
But Tyler wasn't finished saving lives. He ran back into the house to rescue his disabled uncle. Sadly, he, his uncle, and grandfather were unable to escape the flames and were found dead in the house shortly thereafter.
The source of the fire appears to have been an electrical problem at the front of the trailer. It isn't known whether the home was equipped with a smoke alarm, but neighbors are saying far too many people lived in the one small space and that it had been deemed "unlivable," with roofing and window problems.
Tyler's relatives are crediting him with saving their lives. Survivors of the fire include his grandmother, aunts, and cousins. His mom, Crystal Vrooman, was not in the mobile home at the time and is absolutely destroyed by the incident, of course. The one positive aspect she keeps holding onto is that her son died with his "best friend."
There are no words to describe the grim sadness of this accident. Tyler's grandmother says she tried to keep the child from running back into the house but was unable to contain him. This was clearly a very caring boy who had strong connections with his family members. I hope his grieving mother and relatives can find some peace in knowing this little angel died with love in his heart.
This video gives us more insight into how Tyler's mom is coping. Some of the details conflict with what is being reported -- for example, according to the video, Tyler was attempting to save his disabled grandfather and not his uncle. But most news sources agree that it was indeed his uncle and that both his uncle and grandfather perished alongside the boy.
What would you say to this heartbroken mom if you could speak to her?
Image via CNN.com