Baby seriously hurt in Gough Street fire

Posted at 6:19 AM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 06:10:30-04

It was a brutal and fast moving fire.  Boarded up windows and charred bricks mark the spot where tragedy struck Sunday night.

Neighbors tell ABC2 News the sound of the fire blowing out a glass window woke them up around 10:45 p.m.  The home Erika Poremski, her 8-month-old daughter Viviana, and their pet dog Polo live in on Gough Street was on fire.

"Erika was just screaming ‘my baby, my baby!’ and running up and down the street, and I went over to her right away and she was just, actually kneeling, and praying and screaming,” said Martha Herman. "I just went to hold her, to comfort her."

The flames quickly spread to the entire house. The fire too hot for Erika to get upstairs where Viviana was sleeping.  She was burned trying to run inside and save her screaming baby. 

When city fire crews got to the Eastwood neighborhood, we're told they climbed a ladder and smashed a second story window to rescue the baby from the burning home. Erika says us the infant was limp and not breathing.  Viviana was rushed to the hospital.    

"Breaks my heart, breaks my heart,” Herman said.  “And only thing I keep thinking about is that little baby."

Polo didn't survive the fire, we're told he actually laid across the baby and protected her from the flames.  Viviana is burned on 30 percent of her body, mainly on her arms, legs and face.  She is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins, and breathing on her own.  But Erika says it is touch and go.

Fire crews had the flames under control in about 30 minutes Sunday night, but everything inside the Gough Street home was destroyed.  The cause is still under investigation.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for Erika and Viv, and there is a drop-off spot in Edgemere where clothing and other items can be donated.

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