A fundraiser account started in memory of the brave 8-year-old boy who tragically lost his life while attempting to save relatives from a raging fire has now become the center of a heated family feud.
via Fox News
Ugly words between relatives of an 8-year-old upstate New York boy who died last weekend trying to save his family are marring an outpouring of hometown sympathy — and financial support.
Tyler Doohan’s heartbreaking heroism made national headlines after he alerted his family to a fire in his grandfather’s trailer near Rochester early Monday. Fire officials credit him with saving six family members, but he died when he went back in to save his disabled uncle. Now, an extended family squabble is compounding the tragedy after more than $50,000 poured in from around the country, thanks to an online campaign set up by a neighbor.
“My intention was to pay for the memorial service,” said Theresa Fiorica, 28, a friend and neighbor of Tyler’s mother, Crystal Vrooman, whose initial goal was to raise $5,000 to cover the boy’s funeral expenses. “I didn’t think that it was going to go as far and as big as it did.”
The funds are in an online account set up through the website YouCaring.com. Although they are earmarked specifically to “give this baby the service he deserves,” the account names Vrooman as the beneficiary. Vrooman, who did not live in the trailer that burned, told FoxNews.com she hopes to use the money to buy a new home.
“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.”
But other members of the splintered family, including Vrooman’s ex-boyfriend and Tyler’s father, Jason Doohan, say they don’t trust Vrooman to do the right thing.
“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.”
This is such an incredibly sad story. Given that the family received well in excess of the $5,000 the initially set out to raise to pay for Tyler’s funeral, do you think the mother should be able to use the remainder for a new home?