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Firefighters Rescue Babies As Their Moms Were about to Drop Them from Burning Building

NY Daily News - September 05, 2017

by LAURA DIMON

A desperate Queens mom climbed halfway out of her window, then steeled herself to do the unthinkable — and the unavoidable — drop her baby from the third floor of a burning building, officials said.

Just then, mother and child were saved.

When firefighters arrived at the Rockaway Beach fire on Beach 91st St. near Rockaway Beach Blvd. at 2:20 a.m. Monday, the first two floors of the three-story building were on fire and the blaze was quickly spreading to the top floor.

“We witnessed the mother of the child hanging out the window. She was yelling that she was burning up and she was going to throw her baby out,” said Lt. Sean Hayden of Ladder 121, who helped make the rescue. “If we had been a minute later, I think the situation would’ve been a lot different.”

An unattended candle in a second-floor apartment sparked the fire. The blaze went to two alarms at 2:40 a.m. and was brought under control just after 3 a.m., authorities said. The investigation revealed the building had no working smoke detectors.

Hayden and Lt. Joe Costa of Ladder 137 saw a pregnant woman holding an infant standing behind the mom straddling the window sill. They dashed up the stairs straight to the third floor, where the smoke was thick and black.

“When I opened the door to her apartment, I heard the scream to my right,” Costa said. “There was zero visibility.”

Hayden and Costa each grabbed a baby and raced from the inferno, along with the two terrified moms.

“If we hadn’t gotten there quickly, I don’t even want to think about what it would’ve looked like,” Costa sighed.