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Mother of nine-year-old boy killed saving others from house fire remembers her “little hero”

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NEW YORK – A young Penfield, New York boy is being remembered as a hero after trying to rescue his family from the house fire that claimed his life.

Crystal Vrooman, Tyler’s mother, says she is proud of her son’s final actions.

The young boy not only woke up a house full of sleeping people to warn them of fire, but he went back to try to save his grandfather.

While the young mother is numb with the loss of her son, she says what she’s heard about his final moments, comes as no surprise.

“He heard my dad screaming for help. He ran back in there and tried to get him. My sister, I guess, saw him in there tried to grab Tyler’s hand and went to open the window. By the time she turned around, Tyler was gone. He was over with my dad,” she says.

“Today, he’s my little hero,” she said.

By Wednesday evening, almost 1,000 people had contributed to a fund to pay for Tyler’s funeral, many of whom left heartfelt messages.

“Tyler — you are a hero in every sense,” one wrote. “May your selfish act of true love be inspirational for all, and may it and the wonderful way you lived your way too short life provide some solace to your family at this profound time of sadness.”