Boy Who Died Rescuing Family From Fire Named Honorary Firefighter

fireIf ever anyone deserved to be laid to rest in a firefighter funeral it’s 9-year-old Tyler Doohan.

Earlier this month, the upstate New York boy rescued six relatives from a fire but died when he went back in to save his grandfather, an amputee.

As CNN reports, Penfield Fire Company laid the little guy to rest January 29 with a ceremony befitting a fallen hero. Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer even declared Tyler an honorary firefighter, and gave his family a fire helmet inscribed with his name.

If that isn’t enough to break  your heart, the local fire crew also kept an honor guard standing by the boy’s remains during calling hours since Monday, and at the end of a church service on Wednesday.

Fire broke out in the home of a relative Tyler was staying with early in the morning of January 19. Before firefighters arrived Tyler was able to get two children out, ages 4 and 6, and wake up four other relatives. He then went back in to get his disabled grandfather who couldn’t get out on his own. By that time it was too late and Tyler was next to his grandpa on the bed  in the back bedroom.  Fire officials say it looks as if the boy was trying to lift his grandfather when he was overcome by smoke and fire.

That’s the part that gets me. Envisioning this 9-year-old boy running through flames to get to his grandpa, trying to lift the man from his bed as smoke and fire rage all around. I just can’t even …

It’s easy to dismiss children as “just kids” or overlook their potential for greatness at a young age. But little Tyler Doohan has left behind a legacy that isn’t just about saving lives. Children are capable of amazing things and it’s up to us as their parents to remind ourselves to recognize that. It can be hard when they’re whining about video games and cartoons and which cereal they want for breakfast but we can be equally petty as adults. So don’t ever forget that inside every child lives a hero.


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