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Firefighters stand watch over body of 8-year-old hero in Penfield, NY

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Previous coverage of this story

Click here for coverage of Tyler Doohan’s funeral

On Monday, relatives, friends, strangers and firefighters all gathered at a funeral home in Webster, New York to pay their respects to Tyler Doohan, his uncle Steve Smith and Lewis Beach (described in various news accounts as his grandfather or step-great-grandfather).

Fire investigators told DemocratandChronicle.com the 8-year-old boy alerted his family to the fire in their single-wide trailer a week ago and then went back inside to help his disabled Uncle Steve escape.

The Penfield Volunteer Fire Department and neighboring departments kept an honor guard by the casket during the wake and will pay tribute to the heroic boy again during Wednesday’s funeral.

Neeti Upadhye & Gary McLendon, DemocratandChronicle.com:

Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer said Tyler “displayed extreme courage, valor and heroism. We hope that the community and the world will see that Tyler — at eight years of age — could display that.”

During the evening wake more than 100 uniformed firefighters honored the family with a walk-through. Firefighters from all over the county gave their condolences.

NY Penfield Doohan viewing

Ebmeyer also has special plans for Tyler at the funeral services, which will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. John of Rochester Church in Perinton. He said a full line up of more than 100 firefighters from multiple departments will stand at attention while friends and family enter the church. At the end of the service, Ebmeyer will bestow Tyler with the title of honorary firefighter and present the family with a helmet.

NY Penfield Doohan

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  • Fire21

    I wish I could be there to render tribute to Tyler. May he RIP.

  • Richie Lee Zdenek

    Tylar we thank you for ur Heroism and courage and u have done for ur Community and family. It’s sad to say good bye to a kid so young. But you have gone now into gods hand and time to watch over everyone. Hope the fire department but you on a fire turn and brings you to your place that you will laiding. We talk agin for ur heroism and courage. May you RIP brother fire fighter.

  • jim

    R I P . Tyler you did a job no other kid would do .
    You would of made one hell of a fire fighter.
    Now your in God’s hands now you can steer your family and friends in the right direction.
    You and your grandfather are together .
    RIP. Tyler from a fire fighter in otisco ny

  • Kevin Booth

    A proper tribute to this brave little hero! May God grant his family peace and comfort during this terrible time! Thank you Tyler for being such a great example to all of us! Your short life has inspired countless people

  • mongo66199

    I’m honored to say Rest easy little brother we’ll take it from here

  • Jeff Dostalek FF/ Paramedic

    What a special young man. God had a plan for you Tyler. You honored him and your reward is his glory. Your sacrifice will never be fogotten.

  • Kurt Jacks

    R.I.P. Tyler 3-3-3 My God be with the Family and as they morn the loss.

  • Libbit3

    Through tears, I write – It’s amazing how an 8 year old child can set an example of compassion and love for others, when our world is filling up with so many problems including hatred, murder, and many other crimes and wrong-doing. Tyler, you have touched millions of hearts around the country with your bravery, love and compassion. God bless you, Tyler; you are now a shining star up above. May your acts of compassion and goodwill flow into the hearts of others. Rest in peace, sweet boy, now in the arms of Jesus.

  • A Fire Fighter from MS

    A lot of grown men wouldn’t do what this little boy did. Last Call for this mini hero. RIP

  • Fdnycfd

    RIP Tyler you are a true hero and have inspired many people with you courage and bravery, not many people have the courage to do what you did and pay the ultimate sacrifice.
    Sincerely , Firefigther Andrew Viola , Coram Ny

  • Betty

    What marvelous parents you must be to have raised such an extraordinary child. Most of us never do anything near as brave and good as he did. Blessings on all of you, but especially on Tyler.

  • Robert Tony Berry

    They were going to but the family requested that there be no funeral procession…

  • Fireman32

    There have been reports that the family requested NO funeral procession,

  • Midwest FF

    RIP Little Man.. We in the fire service are honored to have you as one of ours! The good lord has bigger plans for you.. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten..

  • Steve Cashion

    That is what you call courage and if everyone in the country and the world was like this young fellow who had his life ahead of him to put his life in danger and even death to help a family member or could of been anyone.

  • Bryan Sutton

    The lord called home one of are youngest brothers he will always be remember RIP my young Brother. I ask all my brothers and sisters to take a knee and remove the helmets for a moment prayer of thank you tyler for unselfish act

  • Bob Connely

    As you watch all of this from the other side of The Rainbow Bridge, Tyler, please know that everyone who has heard of your heroics has been made a richer person for your actions. Enjoy your time over there until all your Firefighter Brothers and Sisters eventually join you to rest in the warm sunshine and cool breezes.

  • Don Desens

    A young member of THE BROTHERHOOD gave his all for his family. A salute from a lifelong firefighter in Wisconsin.

  • Kmenon

    I find disgraceful that a cell phone video from something so personal leaked and is being broad casted on the web. The article would have suited just fine. I agree the officer turn out was impressive but more privacy that this aught to be paid to the parents

  • Marsha Main

    This is heartbreaking!

  • Chief231

    RIP little brother you are truly a hero
    John Mason Junction City Fire Chief ,, Ohio

  • Lt. Anderson

    My god bless his soul . Rest easy little brother we will take it from here.

  • Mike Teeling

    TYLER MY LITTLE hero ,all gave some, you gave all,and now I understand,what you took into your little hands,you also took into your big heart,,,,,,,you are an Angel,,,,,,I myself have seen a different lite. you have I think taught some of us something very powerful ,and have stringthen our faith withen our brotherhood ,I will keep ringing the bell of life in your honor,,,,,,,,,,,, you will be with me in heart and mind you will never be forgotten,I will carry a special patch on my gear,for as long as iam a firefighter in your honor,so you can always be with me my little buddy,my little hero .until I see you in heaven our brothers and sisters will help GOD in guiding you and you will find love and sirenity there and I can’t wait to see those Angel wings,because you sure have earned them,until that day Tyler. Remmber we all love you. my little buddy, GOD bless you and all your family and friends,

  • Forgotten Vet

    Now that is a real Hero!

  • Christoper Harris

    Emergency Services … It doesn’t get any better then that

  • craig

    It doesn’t surprise me on bit of the firefighters actions. I’m retired 32 years in the fire department and can tell you that they are all compassionate and caring individuals and this is the best way they can show their respect to this little boy. A tribute such as this is the true and highest honor they can give. Well done, I’m proud to have been a part of such amazing men and women. To the little boy, he showed compassion and dedication and courage few adults would share. He has truly earned his place in heaven. I hope the adults of the world can learn and gain the compassion and strength this little boy had.

  • sharppointy1

    Tyler had more courage than many of us. He’s the age of my grandson, yet he showed the bravery of a seasoned firefighter. I’m glad the Penfield Fire Department was able to honor him. I wish his family had OK’d a funeral procession with his coffin in the hose bed, but that was not their choice.
    Tyler, I salute your bravery. I wish for you sunny days soft breezes and all of the firefighters who have gone before you to welcome you and keep you close. I won’t forget you.

  • ricks2524

    Rest in peace little brother, The world could use more like you, God Bless

  • FFmolyneux

    The signal 5-5-5-5 Has been transmitted. A young “firefighter’s” life has been cut tragically short. A life that had many more years to go. He went to the depths of hell, to save a loved one. Something many adults don’t even have the bravery to do. He went back in knowing that it was his last chance. I guess god looked down, and seen that us fellow firefighters, need to let out some unmanly tears, and have a hero to look up to. I can say this, because it is through those unmanly tears I write this tribute. I can also say this for I am a firefighter, who has seen more than his fair share of loss of life, and fires undying quest to devour anything it can consume. Rest easy lil guy. Thank you for helping us let go, and weep a few tears. They are not of sadness, they are not of joy, they are indescribable tears that we weep. Rest easy lil hero, your tour is over, the flames of hell will never hurt you again. I take solace in knowing the next call I go, you will be over head watching over me, and my fellow brothers and sisters. When you get to the huge station up there. Please do me a favor, and seek of Chief Gatewood, Firefighter Neis, and Sgt. Stein. For they are my family, they will be as in awe if not more at what you did.
    FF Molyneux
    Oquawka Fire Department
    Badge 521.
    343 We will never forget.