Toddler dies in Spokane fire, his dog huddled at his side

A toddler who died in a house fire was found with his dog and teddy bear next to him and authorities believe the dog tried to protect the boy.

Spokane Fire Department spokesman Brian Schaeffer says the dog also died in the fire that broke out at about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Schaeffer says three other children and an adult escaped from the blaze in Spokane's Hillyard neighborhood.

Schaeffer says it appears that the dog stayed behind in an attempt to protect the boy and that the fire was very intense in the part of the house where they were found.

The battery in the house's smoke detector had been removed and it was not working.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and police are investigating the child's death.