erika and viv gofundme

Screengrab via GoFundMe

If it weren’t for Polo the dog, 8-month-old Vivian may not have survived the fire.

An investigation is underway on a Baltimore home fire that occurred on Sunday night. Its residents lost everything, including their beloved dog, Polo. The tragic tale’s lone silver lining: Polo saved 8-month-old Vivian’s life. 

Erika Poremski told police she had stepped out to her car when the fire started, and suffered burns to her hands and face trying to get back in. All the while, Polo kept Vivian safe in her bedroom. Once firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, Polo was discovered on top of Vivian, protecting her from the flames. 

Poremski told CBS News that she considers Polo to be her first baby, praising his loyalty while lamenting the loss. “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,” she said.

GoFundMe campaign has already raised $20,000 for Poremski and Vivian to help the family pay for medical expenses and belongings lost in the fire.

A cause for the fire has not been reported. Outside of suffering burns to 19 percent of her body, Vivian’s condition is unclear and she is still in the ICU. We reached out to the Baltimore Police Department for an update on the case, but haven’t heard back as of this posting.

H/T CBS News

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