Fires are among the most devastating accidents that could happen at home, and nothing could prepare you for it when it finally does happen.
That’s why it’s understandable that when a fire broke out in her house, Baltimore mom Erika Poremski panicked.
According to a Yahoo! report Erika had lit a candle following a power outage. Because the battery of her phone had been depleted, she then walked outside to her car so she could charge it.
It took no time at all before flames erupted and quickly engulfed the two-story row house.
Sadly, Erika’s eight-month-old baby was inside the burning building. The mother fought her way inside the house to get to her baby but failed, sustaining burns on her hand in the process.
By the time the firefighters arrived, they found her outside, screaming, “My baby, my baby!”
Neighbor Martha Herman told WMAR-TV, “[the mother] “was running up and down the street and I went over to her right away and she was just, actually, kneeling and praying and screaming.”
As it turns out, Erika’s daughter Viviana was with her guardian angel the whole time: their dog Polo.
As the house burned up in flames, the dog had shielded the toddler from the flames by covering her body with its own—an act that cost the dog its life.
When the firefighters successfully extinguished the fire, they found the the dog on top of the toddler.
“He stayed with her the whole time in the bedroom and wouldn’t even come downstairs to get out the door,” Erika told WBAL-TV.
Viviana has since been admitted to the hospital to treat the burns in her face, arms and legs.
Meanwhile, fire officials are trying to determine what caused the blaze, which quickly engulfed the two-story home.
Fire safety tips
- Get out and stay out. Never run back to save your things. The national emergency hotline is 117 but it would be also good to know the number of the fire station nearest to your home.
- Crawl low under smoke. Most fire-related deaths are caused by smoke inhalation, not by the actual fire itself.
- Never open doors that are warm to the touch. Use the second exit, or if you are trapped, place a wet towel under the door.
- Wave a brightly-coloured cloth or use a flashlight to signal for help from an open window.
- Stop, drop and roll. If someone’s clothes catch fire, this is what to do to put the flames out.
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