An 18-month-old boy has died after he ran into his burning house to try to save his beloved puppy.

Loki Sharp was out the front of his home in Gentry, Arkansas, with his parents, Kurtis and Caitlin when the fire started around 5pm on Saturday, November 30.

According to Gentry Fire Chief Vester Cripps, Loki’s parents were attempting to put out the blaze and call for help when they noticed the toddler was missing.

Loki “went back inside to get a dog, and was later found dead,” Cripps told the Northwest Arkansas Gazette.

According to the paper, the dog also died trying to defend the toddler.

The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical, but investigations are on-going.

Parents emotional tribute

The devastated parents posted on Facebook:

Mommy loves u little turkey bird. It’s so hard not having u here in my arms and I know ur here at nons and papas u show it every day but it’s not the same. I’ll always cherish the last time I held u in my arms. This is so hard for us bubba and I hope one day we get our answers or even just a little closure but until then I’ll go through my emotional roller coaster I’ve been on and be as strong as I possibly can.

U we’re my amazing sweet and pain in the butt little man. I’m trying to be strong for ur sissy she is taking it very rough and talks to u daily. I’ll make sure she knows what an amazing brother u we’re even if u did pick on her. Fly high my little guy u we’re taken way too soon and I don’t know how to handle any of this. It wasn’t supposed to be u first. I’d give anything to have taken your place that day but I have to now try to come to terms and cope the best I can. 

Tributes for little Loki have been pouring into a funeral home memorial page. Some of those posting have never met the family, but were so touched by the story, the wrote to give support to his parents.

“I recently learned via online news about your sweet Loki… you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers,” wrote Heather Berry. “I can’t imagine the loss your heart feels right now… but please know the message of love your sweet son shared with the world by showing us how to truly love something so much.”

How safe is your home?

Christmas is often a dangerous time for house fires, particularly from electric Christmas tree lights. With the ongoing bushfire season in Australia, always ensure you have a fire plan.

For more information on what to do in the event of a fire go to: The Rural Fire Service Fire Plan website.

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Alison Godfrey has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years. She loves coffee, wine, skiing and spending time with her husband, two children and their dog. But she's still not sure about the cat. He's pretty cranky.

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