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Toddler found dead in house fire next to dog who ‘tried protecting him’

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SPOKANE, Wa. — A little boy who died after a fire tore through his home in Washington state was found with his teddy bear and his loyal dog next to him.

The toddler, identified by family members to local media as Noah Whitcher, 3, was found against a wall in his home in Spokane.

Fire officials say his dog, a terrier-mixed breed stayed behind to protect the boy, while three other children and two adults escaped the blaze. The dog also died in the fire.

According to fire officials, the battery in the house's smoke detector had been removed and was not working.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by family members to pay for Noah's funeral expenses.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.