BALTIMORE (WDTN) – An 8-month-old infant is in critical condition but alive after a fire in Baltimore and a dog is being credited with saving the child’s life.
The NBC affiliate in Baltimore, WBAL, is reporting the girl is alive but the family still suffered a heartbreaking loss.
The fire happened late Sunday in a two-story rowhouse. When fire crews arrived they found heavy smoke coming from the first and second floors.
Firefighters learned a child was trapped inside the home on the second floor and went inside to rescue the child. Crews got the child out and she was taken to an area hospital.
Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Samuel Johnson said the mother of the infant, Erika Poremski, was home at the time of the fire. Poremski said she stepped out to her car and when she turned around she saw the house in flames and her daughter, Viviana, inside.
“I just heard her crying and I couldn’t get to her,” Poremski said. “I tried really hard, everyone in the neighborhood tried. They were kicking the doors in and kicking the windows out. I couldn’t (get her out). Nobody could.”
Poremski had burns on her hands and face from when she repeatedly tried to go back into the house to rescue Viviana.
Firefighters said when the entered the home to rescue Viviana, they found the family dog, Polo, in the room with her and he was covering her with his body.
“She only had burns on her side because of it,” Poremski said. “He stayed with her the whole time in the bedroom and wouldn’t even come downstairs to get out the door.” Viviana has severe burns on her face, arm and side, but Polo did not survive the fire.
“He was my first baby and now I lost him,” Poremski said. “And I’m just praying I don’t lose her. She’s all I have and it just happened so fast, I just don’t understand it. I just don’t know why this stuff happens.” No other injuries were reported but the family was displaced by the fire, Johnson said.
Poremski said her daughter’s condition is still serious and will be monitored day to day.
“She’s doing the best she can right now,” Poremski said. And she’s fighting and that’s it. She’s a really good girl I just hope she’s OK.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Johnson said.
A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $17,000 as of Friday morning to help the family, who have been displaced by the fire.