(INSIDE EDITION) A deadly blaze claimed the life of a Washington State toddler who was found next to the remains of his faithful pup that stayed by the boy’s side as flames engulfed their home, authorities said.
The body of a 3-year-old boy, identified by relatives as Noah Whitcher, was discovered up against a wall on a bed in the Hillyard home at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, Spokane Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer told InsideEdition.com.
Little Noah was found huddled with his dog, who also died, and a teddy bear, officials said.
“He was critically burned beyond resuscitative measures,” Schaeffer said.
The fire, which damaged the home extensively, was especially strong in the part of the house where Noah and his dog were found.
“It was very intense,” Schaeffer said.
Loved ones were left reeling from the loss of Noah, asking for prayers at such a difficult time.
“Our family lost a sweet very loving grandson named Noah,” his grandmother wrote on Facebook.
“Sweet, sweet boy, how I miss you already. Peace be with you,” another relative posted online.
Two adults and three other children in the home made it out safely before emergency responders arrived on scene, Schaeffer said.
He said the home had a smoke detector, but it did not have a battery.
The cause of the child’s death, as well as the cause of the fire, is under investigation.
Those donating to a GoFundMe page created for Noah’s family, who reportedly lost everything, cautioned would-be critics to hold their judgement at such a difficult time.
“As a father, [and] as a former firefighter I beg of each of you to express love and compassion during this unimaginably unbearable time,” one donor wrote. “The time for questions and answers is neither important nor relevant now. Now is the time for love and healing and prayer and support. Our heart and prayers go out to the family, friends, neighbors, and responding firefighters.”
As of Monday, the page had raised $1,275 of its $5,000 goal.
A separate GoFundMe page was created by a relative for the child’s funeral.
“I don't want him to go without him being able to say goodbye to this world the right way,” his aunt wrote.
That page has raised only $160 of its $5,000 goal.