Article will continue after advertisement

BALTIMORE – An 8-month-old baby is alive today thanks to a dog who gave its life to protect her.

A Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman said firefighters arrived at a home Sunday night to find a mother desperately trying to get back inside her burning home.

Mom Erika Poremski trying to rescue her 8-month old daughter, Viviana, who was trapped on the second floor.

“I just heard her crying and I couldn’t get to her,” Poremski told WBAL. “I tried really hard, everyone in the neighborhood tried. They were kicking the doors in and kicking the windows out. I couldn’t. Nobody could.”

Firefighters managed to get to the second floor bedroom where Viviana was trapped. There, they found the family dog, Polo, lying on top of Viviana taking the brunt of the heat, keeping the baby safe.

“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.”

Rescuers were able to revive Viviana, but Polo died from his injuries.

Poremski told WBAL she will be forever grateful to Polo for saving the baby’s life.

“He was my first baby and now I lost him,” said Poremski. “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.”

Viviana is recovering from her injuries. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for hospital bills. If you’d like to donate, click here.