SPOKANE, Wash. – A 3-year-old who died in a fire in North Spokane was found huddled with his dog, who stayed by his side, and a teddy bear.
It happened just before 11:30 p.m. at a home on East Longfellow Road near North Myrtle Street.
Spokane Fire Dept. spokesman Brian Schaeffer said firefighters arrived within minutes of the call. Three other children and two adults were able to escape from the home. Firefighters then found one child dead inside the home shortly after making entry. They believe the dog, a terrier mixed breed, tried to protect the boy.
Jerry Atabelo, who lives across the street, told The Spokesman-Review he saw the flames and heard screaming as he was getting ready for bed. He yelled for his wife to call 911 and ran outside to hook up his 150 foot water hose.
As people screamed that a child was still in the house, neighbors dragged the hose across the street and sprayed water through a window to try to put out the fire, Atabelo said.
Schaeffer said the fire was so intense that it melted the metal on the frame of the boy's bed. He also said the home's smoke detector was not working - the battery had been removed.
Once the fire was put out, Spokane Fire Department’s Special Investigative Unit as well as Spokane Police Major Crimes Detectives responded to the scene. Both agencies are investigating the incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this story