Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday morning to remember 9-year-old Tyler Doohan and two other victims of the fire he reportedly went back in to try to save, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.
The services remembered not only Tyler, but his grandfather, 54-year-old Stephen Smith, and step great-grandfather, 63-year-old Lewis Beach.
The D&C said Tyler’s mom recalled him as a sweet boy who had a great sense of humor. “I wish you were here for me to hold you one more time,” she said.
“I know you are watching this, and you should be so proud of yourself. You were honored as a fireman and you were only 9. You made me the proudest mother anybody could ever be,” Vrooman said according to 13WHAM.com (Watch Video at 13WHAM).
Penfield Fire Company Chief Christopher Ebmyer bestowed “Honorary Firefighter” status to Tyler, his statements provided by the Department were:
Early last Monday morning three people were lost in a horrible tragedy.
These three were taken far too soon from those who loved them.
This loss has not only been difficult for the family, but for all those who responded to the call for help.
As details emerged early on, it was clear that Tyler Doohan played a heroic role in helping save 6 members of his family. He did this with the courage and valor not found in many people.
When it came to saving himself he didn’t. Instead, he found the strength and bravery to try to rescue his grandfather.
In doing so, he payed the ultimate sacrifice.
Since this tragedy, the word of Tyler’s heroism has spread not only within our local community, but throughout the world.
His picture and the story of his bravery were featured on the front page of hundreds of news papers, blogs, and websites.
The outpouring of thoughts and prayers from the Firefighting community has been immense. All of these calls, emails, and text messages essentially say the same thing. That Tyler Doohan should be recognized as a hero for his actions during this tragedy.
As Chief of the Penfield Fire Company, I hereby bestow upon Tyler Doohan the title of “Honorary Firefighter”.
At such a young age, Tyler displayed the courage that most adults do not possess. Tyler accomplished more in 8 years, than most will accomplish in a lifetime.
He did not die in vain; instead he showed millions of people an example of what a true hero is.
We need more people like Tyler in this world.
May he rest in peace and the memory of Tyler stay with us forever.
At this time I would like to present the family with a Fire Helmet personalized with his name.
I can only hope that it may give the family some comfort knowing that Firefighter Doohan has entered into the brotherhood of firefighters that have passed before him, and that he will be protected by them for eternity.
The January 20th fire consumed the trailer home that belonged to his grandfather. He awoke to find the fire, initially believed to be caused by something electrical in nature, and alerted six people to the blaze who escaped safely. Tyler went back in to help Smith, who suffered diabetes and was in a wheelchair. He did not make it back out.
Firefighters from around the world have posted tributes to Tyler Doohan of him assigned to their units or shift assignment board — a tribute started by a Maryland department last week that has since gone viral. A few examples are posted below, you can browse many more on our Facebook Album here.