A 3-year-old boy and his pet dog died in a house fire in Washington State, with the dog reportedly trying to protect the boy from the flames.
The Daily Mail reports that 3-year-old Noah Whitcher was found dead in his bed alongside his pet dog; authorities believe the dog was trying to protect Whitcher from the smoke and flames.
Spokane Fire Department spokesman Brian Schaeffer says that three other children and one adult escaped the blaze that engulfed the home in the Hillyard neighborhood of Spokane.
“It melted everything,” Schaeffer said. “There was no way to survive that.”
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The battery from the smoke detector had reportedly been removed, so the device was dead. The cause of the fire is under investigation, as is Noah's death.
“Flames were coming outside of the window. I ran downstairs and told my wife to call 911! I yelled it out many, many times,” a neighbor told KXLY-TV.
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Another neighbor, who also wished to remain anonymous, reportedly heard loud sounds coming from the Whitcher home and immediately tried to help. “Light was shooting out the bedroom window. I started running down the street with my boyfriend, kicking down doors, screaming for people to help and get their hoses,” she said.
Neighbors put hoses into the home trying to quench the flames before fire crews arrived.
“He got other hoses and put two more through the window,” the neighbor said. Unfortunately, it was too late. "A couple of firemen came out crying. I was crying too."