An 8-year-old boy who died after saving six relatives from a house fire in Penfield, N.Y., was honored on Wednesday with the hero’s funeral he rightfully deserved.
Hundreds of supporters, including members of local fire departments, gathered at St. John of Rochester Catholic Church in Fairport, N.Y., on Wednesday to bid farewell to Tyler Doohan, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Tyler died on Jan. 20 after a fire erupted in his grandfather’s trailer, but not before he ushered six family members to safety. Tyler's grandfather and another family member also died in the fire, which is believed to have been caused by an electrical problem, according to the outlet.
Once the firefighters at the Penfield Fire Company learned of his brave actions, they decided to give the 8-year-old the kind of honors they would bestow upon one of their own, CNN reported.
"The young man acted with a lot of courage and bravery to try to rescue his grandfather after rescuing other members of his family," Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer told CNN. "He showed valor and strength, and paid the ultimate sacrifice."
Firefighters from across the Western New York area gathered at the church and fire trucks lined the streets outside the service, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. After the funeral, Ebmeyer presented Tyler’s mother, Crystal Vrooman, with a red and white helmet on which her son’s name was inscribed.
Tyler’s grieving family members have also been getting an outpouring of support from friends and complete strangers.
An online fundraiser set up in Tyler’s honor to help pay for funeral costs, collected more than $60,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.
Neighbors have also been donating food, clothing and home goods to the family through a drive that was set up by the Saint Nicholas Society, WROC reported.
"I think we need to keep in mind the honor that Tyler had in that moment when he was faced with the greatest danger," Rosanne Fabi, a neighbor of the family, told WROC. "We need to reach in our hearts and be our best selves through this."