Funeral held for boy who ran into home to save family

CNN NEWS/WROC
Friday, January 31, 2014 - 6:30pm

A young boy who ran back into a burning mobile home to save his family has been laid to rest. The heroic actions of 8 year-old Tyler Doohan inspired people near and far. When a college basketball team from Wisconsin heard the news, they reached out to show their compassion as pall bearers, Chelsea Pompeani reports.

Phil Budervic and his basketball team from Manitowoc, Wisconsin had no idea who Tyler Doohan was until they saw his story on a national news station.

The story was so inspiring to the Silver Lake College basketball team that they drove all night to be pallbearers at the 8 year-old's funeral. They believe compassion has no end and community has no boundaries.

Phil Budervic, Silver Lake Coach, "It took me emotionally and I took it to the players and I said lets talk about it, they felt this clearly plead right down the middle of our core values, compassion and community."

People here at home and across the nation felt the selfness actions of Tyler, who ran back into a burning mobile home to save the people he loved most, his grandfather and great grandfather. He made the ultimate sacrifice and on Thursday, all three were laid to rest together.

Elizabeth Perry, Mourner, "He's a brave boy; very brave."

So brave that at his funeral, the Penfield Fire Department presented Tyler's family with a helmet, symbolizing that Tyler is an honorary Penfield firefighter. The men stood solemnly as Tyler's mother Crystal and the rest of the family said goodbye to their hero.

Chris Edmeyer, Penfield Fire Dept., "Out of this comes the example that even though he was only eight years old he displayed an amount of courage that most people couldn't in their entire lives."

Inside St. John of Rochester Church, Tyler's mother Crystal Vrooman could not hold back her tears. When talking to the congregation about how her son was the light of her life, she said, "I wish you were here for me to hold you. I know you don't want to see us sad, but we will see you again someday; and we will be happy again. You will never be forgotten."

Tyler's neighbor created an online fund to help the family who lost everything. People from all over the world have been donating.

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