Two young boys died and two other people were injured in a house fire early Friday in Rialto, authorities said.
Mario Angel Cisneros, 5, and his brother David Alexander, 4, died of apparent smoke inhalation, family members said.
Firefighters found the brothers in a bathroom, where they had taken refuge with their pet Chihuahua, said Rosana Delgado, 20, the boys’ aunt.
The family dog, which also died, was found underneath David’s arms, she said.
Paramedics took the boys to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where they were pronounced dead of apparent smoke inhalation, said Matt Payne, a spokesman for the Rialto Fire Department.
About midnight Thursday, firefighters were sent to the single-family house in the 1400 block of Lilac Avenue after receiving a report of a house fire.
When firefighters arrived, flames were coming out of bedroom windows and the roof, Payne said.
The boys’ grandfather, Humberto Delgado, 54, suffered second-degree burns to his arms, neck and head while rescuing a year-old girl from the burning home, family members said.
The girl, the daughter of another family that lives at the home, suffered smoke inhalation, and she and Humberto Delgado were taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Payne said. They were released after being treated.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Payne said.
Joe Garcia, a family spokesman, said five adults and six children lived at the house, but that only the grandparents and the three children were inside at the time of the fire. The grandmother escaped without injury.
Sobbing, Rosana Delgado said her two nephews “were sweet and polite boys.”
She said Mario, whom family members called “DeeDoo,” was playful and shy, while his younger brother, David, whom the family called “Taco,” was the outgoing one.
Mario was about to start kindergarten next month, and David was going to turn 5 in August.
“They were very protective of each other. If one got in trouble, so did the other,” Rosana Delgado said. “They went everywhere together.”
A fund to assist family members with funeral costs has been set up in the boys’ names through Chase Bank, account No. 4952237018, care of Irma Delgado.
Times photographer Mark Boster contributed to this report.