8-year-old US boy saves six from fire but dies trying to save grandfather

An eight-year-old boy who managed to rescue six people - including two younger children - from a burning mobile home in New York died tragically while trying to save a seventh person, his disabled grandfather. Tyler Doohan's body was later found
An eight-year-old boy who managed to rescue six people - including two younger children - from a burning mobile home in New York died tragically while trying to save a seventh person, his disabled grandfather. Tyler Doohan's body was later found next to his grandfather's, whom Tyler considered a best friend, CNN reported. -- SCREENGRAB: CNN VIDEO FROM YOUTUBE

NEW YORK - An eight-year-old boy who managed to rescue six people - including two younger children - from a burning mobile home in New York died tragically while trying to save a seventh person, his disabled grandfather.

Tyler Doohan's body was later found next to his grandfather's, whom Tyler considered a best friend, CNN reported.

"It makes me really proud, it really does, but I just want him back," Tyler's mother, Ms Crystal Vrooman, told CNN affiliate WHAM.

Tyler, an East Rochester resident, was staying at the home of relatives in the nearby town of Penfield on Sunday night when he noticed a fire in the single-wide trailer, said Penfield Fire Chief Chris Ebmeyer.

As firefighters and sheriff's deputies responded to an emergency call at 4.45am, Tyler was able to wake six other people in the small trailer, including two more children, ages 4 and 6, the fire chief said.

Then Tyler went back into the blaze to help his grandfather, who was disabled and would have been unable to get out of the home on his own, Mr Ebmeyer said.

"By that time, the fire had travelled to the back of the trailer," said Me Ebmeyer. "Unfortunately they both succumbed to heat and smoke."

The pair were found together on a bed in the back room. It appeared that the boy was trying to lift his grandfather from the bed when he was overcome by the smoke and fire, the fire chief said. Tyler and his grandfather were like best friends, Ms Vrooman said.

An online fundraising campaign on YouCaring.com had raised more than US$28,000 (S$35,807) as of Wednesday for Tyler's funeral and his family.

Tyler's mother said the boy broke away from his aunt outside the burning trailer and ran back inside to try to save his grandfather.

"All I could think about is how he couldn't breathe," Ms Vrooman told WHAM.

She added: "I'm just so grateful that he went with people that he loved. He didn't go alone."

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation but believed to be accidental.

The conditions of the six survivors were not immediately available.

Mr Ebmeyer said the trailer had no working smoke detector. He lamented that with so many people in one small mobile home, one alarm could have easily woken everyone in time to escape.

Meanwhile, Richard Stutzman Jr., interim superintendent of the East Rochester School District, where Tyler attended fourth grade, issued a statement: "In bravely and selflessly giving his own life, he was able to save the lives of six others -- and he truly is a hero."