Dog Dies Protecting Infant Girl from House Fire

August 19, 2016 Updated: August 19, 2016

A Baltimore family’s dog is being hailed as a hero for saving their eight-month-old daughter’s life. However, the dog didn’t make it.

Erika Poremski said a fire broke out at her home while her daughter Viviana, and her dog, Polo, were still inside. Poremski said she’d just gotten out to her car and turned around when she noticed her home was on fire.

“I tried to keep getting in,” she told CBS News. “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.”

She tried to enter the home to rescue her daughter but it proved to be fruitless.

“Everybody in the neighborhood tried. They were kicking the doors in, kicking the windows out, and it was just…I couldn’t…no one could,” Poremski said, according to WGN.

When firefighters arrived, they went inside and came back with the baby girl. They found Polo in a room with the child, apparently covering her with his body.

Paramedics revived Viviana. She had suffered severe burns on her face, arm, and side.

Polo, however, was dead.

“He was my first baby, and now I lost him. And I’m just praying I don’t lose her. It’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,” Poremski added.

A GoFundMe page was set up on behalf of the family and has raised around $20,000 as of Friday.