That was the horrific moment a baby girl was dangled out of a fifth-floor window by a teenage relative as they were trapped by fire. This happened in 2010 in Bronx and the Teenage Vanessa Scott was remembered for years as a ‘hero”.
Terrified Vanessa Scott, 18, thought holding her 7-month-old cousin Zaniwah Alexandra out of the window would help her get air to breath.
Neighbours in New York’s Bronx looked on in terror as the tot swung in the air – and the teenager screamed: ‘Please catch my baby! I don’t want to die!’
Luckily firefighters persuaded the teen to hold on long enough for them to rescue her, the baby and also another six-year-old relative.
‘I couldn’t imagine what was going on in her head,’ said one of the rescuing firemen, Keith Lagan, a father of three himself.
Scott later admitted that she feared they would all die and holding the baby outside might be its only chance for survival.
‘I slid the baby through the child guard bars because there was just smoke everywhere and flames. I couldn’t get anywhere except for the window,’ she said.
‘You couldn’t see anything. I knew she would get air if she would get out the window.’
Firefighters rescued seven-month-old Zaniwah Alexandra, along with nine of her relatives at the Pelham Parkway Houses.
Photos show Zaniwah — one arm up and one down — against a brick wall as her cousin leans through the bars. Black smoke billows around them.
Neighbours looked on in terror as the teenager screamed: “Please catch my baby! I don’t want to die!”
She was contemplating letting the baby drop but firefighters persuaded her to wait to let them attempt to rescue the family.
Scott said she feared they would all die and holding the baby outside might be its only chance for survival.
The rescuers scaled the building and revived a two-year-old girl while Scott was treated for smoke inhalation.
The photo was taken by neighbour Maya Tucker before firefighters climbed up to save the child.
Scott said: “I slid the baby through the [child guard] bars. There was just smoke everywhere and flames. I couldn’t get anywhere except for the window,” she said. “You couldn’t see anything.”
Zaniwah’s father, Michel Alexandra, survived by jumping from a window.
“It went well,” said veteran FDNY firefighter Sean O’Donnell. “Many jobs don’t go this well.”
A large crowd gathered outside the building to cheer as each rescue was made. ‘We were all crying and clapping,’ said Isabel Vazques, 52.
At least eight civilians and two fighters were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. There were no fatalities.
This Story was originally published in Daily mail on February 16, 2010