A 3-year-old boy died in a fire in Spokane, Washington, while his dog tried to protect him; further proof that dogs are definitely man’s best friend.
It was a tragic Friday evening for the people in Hillyard, in Spokane, when flames erupted in one of the rental apartments there at around 11:30 p.m.
Jerry Atabelo, the neighbor who tried to help douse the flames, was one of the first people to have responded to his neighbor’s plea for help.
According to The Spokesman-Review, Atabelo was just about to climb into his bed when he saw the flames coming out of his neighbor’s house. As he exited his house to investigate Atabelo heard screaming coming from his neighbor’s home.
The house that erupted in flames was located at the 4000 block of Longfellow Avenue. The family who lived there was able to save three of their children but they weren’t able to save their 3-year-old boy and his dog.
When Atabelo saw the flames he immediately instructed his wife to call 911 while he went for his garden hose and reattached it to the faucet outside his house.
Atabelo told reporters that his neighbors took the hose and dragged it towards their home but the flames were too strong.
Someone shouted that there was still a child inside the house but according to Atabelo’s wife, Lori Rayburn, it was difficult to get to the child due to the house’s unusual layout.
According to Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department, a 3-year-old boy died in a fire because no one was able to get to him in time.
Schaeffer added that the 3-year-old boy was accompanied by his dog, a terrier mixed breed, and his teddy bear. Based on their investigation it seemed that the dog went back to try and protect the 3-year-old boy, which is why the terrier perished in the fire as well.
Schaeffer said that the fire was so intense that the boy’s bed, which had a metal frame, melted. He added that no one could have survived that ordeal.
The assistant fire chief found that the smoke detector of the house did not work at the time of the fire because the batteries have been removed. If the smoke detector was working properly, the tragic fate of the 3-year-old boy and his little dog could have been avoided.
Investigators are currently looking into the fire and how it started.
A history of protecting its owners
A lot of people know that canines have great capacity for loving their human owners. In fact, there are even dogs that people use for therapy.
There have also been hundreds of reported incidents wherein dogs traded their lives so that their human owners would survive.
One such story involves a baby girl and her 6-year-old dog, Polo.
According to CBS News, in August, baby girl Viviana and her dog, Polo, were trapped in their house while it was burning. Viviana’s mom, Erika Poremski, tried getting inside, but the flames were too strong and barred every entrance.
Erika’s hands were severely injured as she tried to push open any door or window that were already ablaze.
Poremski feared for her daughter’s life, unaware that her furry savior was keeping her toddler safe as best as it could.
When the firefighters finally reached the baby they saw Erika’s dog covering the little girl from the flames. Viviana suffered from severe burns on her arms and side, but the paramedics were able to revive her. As for Polo, the canine hero died saving Erika’s little baby.
Erika Poremski is infinitely grateful for her dog’s bravery and devotion and though they have survived the ordeal, her heart is still reeling from the loss of her best friend.
Such is the heroism of canines that they will easily trade their lives so that their human owners will live on.
The terrier who tried to save the 3-year-old boy from Spokane, Washington, did its best to protect its owner and though the dog and the 3-year-old boy died in a fire, the canine’s heroism will never go unnoticed.
[Featured Image by Spokane Fire Department/AP Images]