Hero alert! A dog is responsible for saving a baby from a house fire and the pup’s owner is forever grateful for his amazing deed. While at home during a storm with her eight-month-old daughter Viviana and dog Polo, Erika Poremski lit candles after the electricity went out. When her cell phone died, she went to the car to charge it.
When Erika looked at the house from inside her car, she saw that it was on fire — with Viviana and Polo trapped inside. She rushed to get her baby, but the smoke was so heavy, she couldn’t maneuver the staircase and when she grabbed the railing, her skin was badly burned. Her neighbors arrived, but no one was able to get up the stairs to the child. When firefighters came, Erika was sure it was too late for Viviana to have survived.
Imagine her absolute shock when the fire crew came out of the flames with Viviana, alive, cradled in their arms. It was Polo who had saved her little girl’s life.
Erika told CBS News: “I tried to keep getting in. 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.”
With the panic of the situation and trying to get to her daughter, Erika didn’t even realize she was injured, telling CBS News that she couldn’t “see all the skin was off my hand from grabbing the rail and it melted off.”
Polo stayed upstairs in the bedroom where Viviana was crying rather than exiting the house, helping to shield the baby from the flames by covering her with his body. Erika said of her beloved dog: “He was my first baby before Viv. He was like my child. He followed us everywhere.”
Sadly, Polo didn’t survive the fire, but his sacrifice allowed Viviana to live. Firefighters found Polo covering the baby — Viv only suffered burns on her arm and side, and she was revived by paramedics at the scene.
Dogs often appear to sense danger or when something is amiss, and Erika said of that day, “he was acting weird all day,” adding, “I even told a friend I was going to take him to vet. He was crying and following me around and had a seizure from anxiety.”
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help the family with Vivian’s medical bills. The loss of their dog was a struggle to work through, as Erika said: “He was everything to me along with my daughter. I’m losing everything I love in the blink of an eye. I feel like I’m drowning and can’t get out.”
The story captured a lot of attention on social media, with one person offering this perspective on dogs: “In my heart I am quite certain that, for having shared our evolution for tens of thousands of years (if not hundreds of thousands), dogs are people. They live with us, and we with them. They are dependent on us and they know it, and we are rewarded with everything a dog has to offer. This dog loved his family and gave his all to save the most precious member. RIP, you good dog.”