Eight-year-old N.Y. boy dies saving family from fire

Tyler Doohan

An online fundraising campaign has raised enough money to pay for the funeral of an 8-year-old New York boy who died while trying to rescue his disabled grandfather from a burning mobile home.

The page set up on YouCaring.com for Tyler Doohan says more than $5,100 has been raised as of Wednesday morning.

Authorities in the town of Penfield, just east of Rochester, say the boy alerted relatives to the fire early Monday morning inside his grandfather's trailer home, and that six of them escaped.

They say the boy died while trying to rescue his grandfather, who used a wheelchair and crutches after losing a leg.

Fire officials say Tyler's body was found just a few feet from his 57-year-old grandfather. A 54-year-old uncle also died.

"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," recalled Tyler's mother, Crystal Vrooman.

Vrooman recalled a recent conversation her son had with his stepfather, which she says seemed odd at the time.

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

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

(WHEC-TV contributed to this story.)