OMG My Soul Is Crying: Eight-Year-Old Child Hero Rescues Family From Fire, Then Dies Himself


Get out your crying supplies—tissues, chocolate, Visine— stat, everyone. Because this is a doozy. An eight-year-old boy named Tyler Doohan was killed in a fire on Monday after trying to rescue a relative.

The fire broke out in the mobile home that Tyler was staying in with relatives in Penfield, NY early Monday morning. Tyler lived in East Rochester, but had asked his mother if he could stay over at his grandfather’s house since school was cancelled the next day.

Tyler was able to wake up and save six people in the trailer, including two other children, a two-year-old and a four-year-old. But he went back into the flames to save his grandfather, Louis J. Beach and his disabled uncle, Steven D. Smith. But he couldn’t get them out in time.

When firefighters arrived, fire had engulfed the trailer and Tyler, his uncle, and his grandfather were unable to get out. Their bodies were found in a rear bedroom, just a few feet apart. According to USA Today,

The relatives who escaped the fire, whom neighbors said included Tyler’s grandmother, aunt and cousins, were taken to a hospital Strong Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not considered life threatening. One woman suffered second-degree burns as she helped others from the burning trailer.

Although there seems to be some concerns about the safety of the trailer itself, as well as how many people were living there, neighbors say Tyler’s grandfather, Louis Beach, liked to give people a place to stay when they were experiencing bad luck.

What can I say about this, other than it’s incredibly sad and that this little boy is a hero? The picture I’ve included above breaks my heart every time I scroll up. I’m sending so much love, light and sympathy to Tyler’s family and to the community in Penfield, NY.

Photo: Tyler Doohan’s Facebook page

Share This Post:
    • Dreiko

      Little guy’s a hero alright. I hope those who he saved live their lives to the fullest to make up for his life being cut so short.

      I don’t know if crying or awe is the appropriate response here. Maybe both. I don’t really get the concept of a “glorious death” but I can’t think of a better way to die than saving your family at the same time.

    • Peggy

      I live across the county from Penfield; hearing on the news about how the school called all the parents in his classroom to let them know…..just broke my heart. His mom was on the news the other night-this poor woman lost her son, father and grandfather in one fell swoop. So, so sad.

    • Alex Lee

      Just an update: Tyler was laid to rest with full firefighter honors.