Erika Poremski, 28, put her daughter Viviana to bed one night on the second floor of her home.
That night, lightning hit the electrical box of her home and turned off all power in the house.
Poremski could not find a flashlight, so she lit a candle to light the room while she called neighbors about the situation.
But after so many calls, her phone died. So without electricity in the home, she went out to her car to charge it.
While waiting for her phone to turn back on, Poremski suddenly had a horrible feeling. She turned back to her home to a terrifying scene.
Her bedroom window, where baby Viviana was sleeping, was glowing brightly. The room was on fire.
Poremski raced into the house to see her couch and curtains had caught fire and the blaze had spread to the carpet.
She immediately tried to get to her daughter, but thick smoke and flames pushed her back each time.
“I tried to keep getting in,” she said. “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.”
Firefighters were still on their way and in the chaos of fire, Poremski didn’t even notice that “all the skin was off my hand from grabbing the rail and it melted off.”
Neighbors and others also tried to get into the house, kicking in the windows and doors to save Viviana. But with the growing flames, none were successful.
“I just heard her crying and I couldn’t get to her,” the terrified mom said. “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.”
Also inside the house somewhere was the family dog, Polo, who Poremski had been unable to locate.
But when firefighters arrived, they made a miraculous discovery: Viviana had survived the blaze thanks to Polo.
Always protective of the baby girl, Polo knew he had to help her when the fire broke out. He covered Viviana’s body with his until rescuers arrived and never allowed fire near her.
Thanks to the brave dog, only 19% of Viviana’s body was burned by the scorching smoke on one side — a percentage that could have been far higher without Polo. But sadly, Polo had given his life to save Viviana and died after the fire.
For months after the fire, Viviana slipped into a self-induced coma. Poremski prayed for a miracle for her baby to be able to grow up.
“So now I’m praying for a miracle from God to let my baby wake up,” she wrote online. “To let me see her smile again and be able to see and hear momma say I love you beautiful.”
Doctors warned she would have brain damage and other complications, but soon swelling went down and she woke up.
Friends and family set up a GoFundMe to help rebuild after losing everything, and to pay for Viviana’s medical bills.
They have since raised over $42,000, and Viviana has undergone multiple skin grafting operations.
“Thank god for the police and fireman responding so quickly and helping my baby girl be able to breath again on her own,” Poremski wrote.
And thank God their beloved Polo was watching over his best friend and kept her safe until the very end.
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