“I’m losing everything I love in the blink of an eye."
These were the somber words of a mother describing the nightmare she lived through this past week. Erika Poremski of Baltimore, Maryland lives at home with her eight-month-old daughter, Viviana, and their dog, Polo.
Today, CBS News reported a fire broke loose in their Baltimore home and Emily found herself struggling to find both her daughter, and Polo.
"She was up the stairs, but the fire smoke was so heavy I couldn't get past it... I kept running back out and back in, trying to get up there. Then, the door curling started falling and I couldn't get back in." Poremski told CBS News. "I tried to keep getting in."
With burns on her hands and face, Poremski was desperate to break into her home and save her daughter and dog. Firefighters arrived shortly after, and she told him that both Polo and Viviana were upstairs in the baby's room. She went on to explain that she believed Polo was trying to protect the baby from the flames.
"He was my first baby before Viv. He was like my child."
The end of a horrible day resulted in Poremski being reunited with her daughter, and saying "goodbye" to her beloved 6-year-old dog. When the firefighters finally got to baby Viviana, they found Polo still covering her with his body. CBS News reported that the two were very close, and that their special bond saved her daughter's life. While they were both unconscious, paramedics were able to revive Viviana.
After everything happened, Poremski remembered Polo's odd behavior before the fire began.
"He was crying and following me around and had a seizure from anxiety."
She believed her dog knew something bad was going to happen. She told CBS, "That day of the fire, he was acting weird all day. I even told a friend I was going to take him to the vet. He was crying and following me around and had a seizure from anxiety."
While we will never know for sure, one thing is certain: the remarkable bravery of this dog saved the life of a child.
With piling medical bills and no place to call home, Poremski is mourning the loss of more than just her beloved canine. Viviana suffered burns to 19% of her body and is currently in an induced coma while they perform more tests.
"I feel like I'm drowning and can't get out."
"He was everything to me along with my daughter." Poremski said of Polo. "I'm losing everything I love in the blink of an eye. I feel like I'm drowning and can't get out."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to get the family back on their feet, and to ensure that Viviana makes a full recovery.