8-year-old Tyler Doohan asked to spend some time at his grandfather’s trailer the Sunday before the MLK Jr. holiday Monday, but things turned deadly in the early hours of Monday morning when a fire erupted in the home.
There were nine people in the trailer when the fire started at 4:45 a.m. The Penfield, NY fire department believe the blaze started from electrical issues. Tyler woke up first and then woke up six other people, including two cousins, ages 4 and 6. After six of the relatives, including his cousins, grandmother and aunt, where safely outside, he ran back in to wake his 57-year-old grandfather Louis J. Beach, and his disabled uncle Steve Smith (54,) but he never returned.
“I’ve cried so much. I’ve cried so much it just doesn’t seem real,” his shocked mom Crystal Vrooman told the local news.
To compound the grief over the deaths of the young boy and two men, the family is now fighting over donation money raised by a concerned neighbor. Theresa Fiorica initially set up the fund via YouCaring.com in an attempt to raise at least $5,000 to help pay for the child’s funeral expenses. “My intention was to pay for the memorial service,” Theresa told Fox News. “I didn’t think that it was going to go as far and as big as it did.”
The donation amount, which is in Tyler’s mom Crystal Vrooman’s name is now over $55,000, and Crystal hopes to buy herself a house with the money. “My son just got lost in a huge tragedy,” Vrooman told FoxNews.com. “Do you think I want to move into a trailer? I want a nice house [as] I have always been telling the kids, and to give my kids a great school district.”
Tyler’s father (and Crystal’s ex) Jason Doohan and Tyler’s uncle Joseph Breyette, have concerns about Crystal’s intentions for the funds. “My actual fear is that she is not going to use the money properly,” Doohan said. “My son is the greatest kid I’ve ever known. Use [the money] the right way, on what Tyler would want it to be spent on.”
“My biggest concern is that the money is going to be mismanaged and the people who went through the tragedy are going to be forgotten,” Breyette said. “I would prefer someone court-appointed, not her, should have control of that money.”