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8-Year-Old Hero Rescues Family, Dies Trying to Save Grandfather

It's every parent's worst nightmare: a fire breaks out in your house in the middle of the night while your entire family sleeps inside, unaware.

For the Doohan family of upstate New York, that very tragedy played out just last Monday, and sadly, it claimed the life of their 8-year-old son, Tyler. But not before he managed to make some pretty heroic efforts that saved the lives of not just one, but six family members.

According to CNN, young Tyler was having a sleepover at his grandfather's house in Penfield when flames erupted. It was 4 a.m., and everyone was sound asleep; but after waking to see the house filled with smoke, Tyler sprang into action and woke up six of his family members, who all managed to escape to safety outside.

Once on the lawn, Tyler noticed someone was missing: his grandfather. Knowing that his grandpa was disabled and probably unable to make it out on his own, Tyler bravely raced inside, where he did his best to lift his grandpa from the bed.

We wish there was a better end to this story, but tragically, the two were overcome by smoke and perished in the fire, along with another family member.

But in the midst of all this heartache, the Doohan family is choosing to focus on the beauty of what Tyler did. "I am so grateful he went with people that he loved, that he didn't cross over alone," said Tyler's mom, Crystal Vrooman. "I'm so glad that he was with his best friends."

Of course, the grief is overwhelming. "It makes me really proud, it really does," Crystal added tearfully. "But I just want him back."

The community has already reached out to the Doohan family and set up a fund to cover funeral costs. You can donate here.

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