In Baltimore, Maryland, firefighters were called to the scene after a house went up in flames while an 8-month-old baby was trapped inside.

However, as they quickly tried to locate the child through the smoke, they stopped in shock when they finally found her and saw what had been on her the entire time.

Erika Poremski had quickly run out to her car to grab something when she turned around to discover her house was on fire and her baby girl, Viviana, was trapped inside. She immediately called the Baltimore City Fire Department for help, while she failed her own attempts to save her daughter.

When the fire department arrived, the firemen immediately rushed the home to rescue the baby, but when they finally located her, they were shocked to find what was on her –their family dog, Polo.

“I just heard her crying and I couldn’t get to her,” Erika recalled, according to WBALTV. “I tried really hard, everyone in the neighborhood tried. They were kicking the doors in and kicking the windows out. I couldn’t (get her out). Nobody could.”

When firefighters finally pushed their way into the room, they found Polo inside with Viviana, and the family dog had heroically chosen to shield the infant’s body from the flames with his own.

“She only had burns on her side because of it,” Erika explained, describing how Polo’s brave actions helped shield the little one. “He stayed with her the whole time in the bedroom and wouldn’t even come downstairs to get out the door.”

Firefighters quickly retrieved the infant and rushed her to paramedics, who were able to revive her. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she is currently being treated for serious burns on her face, arm, and sides. Unfortunately, Polo had heroically given his life to save the child.

Viviana and her hero dog, Polo (Source: ABC13)

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

Although Viviana is still fighting for her life, she’s doing as good as expected, thanks to Polo’s sacrifice. The family has since opened a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical expenses and for the family to purchase some of the necessities they lost during the fire.

I can’t imagine how it must feel to lose a beloved pet who willingly sacrificed its life for my child. One thing is for certain, Polo will forever be remembered as the hero in Viviana’s life since she wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for his brave act. Dogs truly are man’s best friend, and they have proven time and time again that they will do anything to please their owners – even if that means risking their own lives.