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Mother Of Boy Killed In Penfield Fire Remembers His Life

Crystal Vrooman says she is proud of her son's heroism.
Crystal Vrooman says she is proud of her son's heroism. 

"He just wanted to have fun. He never wanted to grow up and now he doesn't have to," she said.

Her son Tyler was often seen with a smile from ear to ear. Tyler spend the holiday weekend with his best friends- his grandfather and great grandfather. 

"I went to go pick him up and they told me he was down at his friend's house and I said 'well he doesn't have school tomorrow. Grandpa can bring him home tomorrow. He can stay an extra day;' and then the next morning I had cops at my door," she recounted.

Early Monday morning, a fire broke out in the mobile home on Fondiller Drive in Penfield. Tyler woke everyone up and escaped, but ran back into the burning home to save his other relatives. Two of them never made it out. 

"It makes me so proud that he went the way that he did. He made it big, he made it really big and I'm really proud," Crystal said.

Tyler's brave actions have touched hearts throughout the community and across the nation. An online fund set up for Tyler has brought in more than $25,000 over the last couple of days. The 4th grader will be laid to rest as a hero. At least one local fire house is planning to pay tribute to Tyler at his funeral. 

"I know Tyler would be so happy to see that to know that they're doing that and I think he deserves it 100 percent," she said.

Crystal got Tyler's initials and a paw print tattooed on her arm when Tyler was 3. She says the momento now has new meaning. 

"It makes me think about a lot of things that I should have done that I'm definitely going to be doing now," she said.

Crystal has not set a date for Tyler's funeral. On Saturday, donations of clothing, food and shoes will be accepted to help survivors of the fire. You can donate at St. Nicholas Hall in East Rochester from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
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