A mother and father in Arkansas are experiencing an unimaginable loss after their son died in a house fire while attempting to rescue his beloved pet puppy.
Kurtis and Caitlin Sharp lost everything in the blaze that erupted in their Gentry home on Saturday night, but none of their possessions mattered compared to the loss of their 23-month-old son, Loki Nicholi Mason.
“I just wanna stop here and say never take your children for granted,” Kurtis wrote alongside a photo of his son on Facebook. “Cherish every waking moment with them!!!! We love u bubba and we know your in a better place!!!!”
Gentry Fire Chief Vester Cripps confirmed the tragic death to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, telling the outlet that the Sharp’s home caught fire around 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Kurtis, Caitlin, and their children were not inside at the time the flames broke out and quickly scrambled to call for help and extinguish the fire themselves.
However, amid the chaos, the parents didn’t notice that Loki had re-entered the home to save their pet dog, Cripps said.
Unfortunately, the toddler’s efforts were unsuccessful and he became trapped by the blaze. His body was later discovered by firefighters, who believed the fire was caused by an electrical issue, according to Cripps.
An investigation of the fire is currently ongoing by the Gentry Fire Department.
In the wake of the tragedy, Kurtis spoke out on Facebook and expressed his heartbreak to lose his youngest child in a series of posts.
“Fly high baby boy u are extremely missed and loved,” he wrote on Monday. “We know ur home and it kills us to see u have to go so soon. But mommy and daddy and all ur siblings and family love u dearly.”
Kurtis also revealed on Monday that the viewing for Loki would be on Friday in Siloam Springs, Arkansas and his funeral would be the following day.
The grieving father asked that Loki’s loved ones do not wear all-black to his funeral. Instead, he asked for guests to “mix it up” and wear the toddler’s favorite colors of red, white, and black to celebrate his life.
“We don’t want it to be any more depressing than it’s already gonna be,” he wrote. “Thanks for all the love and support we definitely appreciate it.”
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Following the death of their child, many of Kurtis and Caitlin’s friends and family have set up fundraisers to assist the family with funeral expenses and rebuilding their lives in a new home.
“Not only did they lose their belongings but also a precious child,” reads a Facebook fundraiser called the Sharp Family Restoration, which has already raised over $8,400. “We need all the donations we can get. Whatever your heart is lead to do.”
“The last thing we want the family to worry about during this very difficult time is money. Donations will be used towards hospital bills, funeral cost, & new housing,” the fundraiser adds.
A GoFundMe was also established for the family to assist with expenses.