Watch CBS News

'I Didn't Want To Let Him Go': Firefighter Describes Rescuing Newborn Left In Alley; CPD Questioning Person Of Interest

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago police are questioning a person of interest after a newborn was found abandoned in an alley Tuesday morning. One of the firefighters who rescued the infant spoke only with CBS 2's Marissa Parra, saying he does not want to think about how different this would have been if the baby hadn't been called in.

It was hot and humid Tuesday morning, and the baby was found wrapped in blankets and a rosary in the bottom drawer of a dresser left in an alley.

On the way to the scene Chicago firefighter Matthew Lang was bracing for the worst from the back seat of his fire truck.

"I look out the window, and I just see this woman, hysterical, waving her arms," he said.

She was pointing to the open drawers stacked on top of one another in a Montclare alley. An d in that bottom drawer he would find the most emotional assignment of his firefighting career.

"We don't know who put the baby there, but whoever did left a rosary," he said. "My mind went to ease as soon as I saw that baby moving and crying. It was almsot surreal."

They went to work on the newborn they say could not have been more than a couple days old.

"He still had his umbilical cord attached, about 12 or 13 inches, that we had to take care of," said Lang.

And it was then that Lang and the baby boy shared a moment.

"I carried him into the ambulance when they arrived, and I didn't want to let him go," Lang said. "He did open his eyes and looked around the ambulance, smiled a little bit, holding onto our fingers. He looked me right in the eye. Those big brown eyes, I'll never forget it."

Call it paternal instinct for the father of two.

"Holding that little guy wrapped up in my arms, and I just kept thinking how familiar it was," he said.

They parted ways when the baby was taken to Lurie Children's Hospital, but Lang went home still thinking about those big brown eyes and penned an impassioned post, begging parents to find other alternatives. He wrote, in part, "If you have a baby you don't want, please do not dispose of it into the garbage. Please take the baby to a hospital, firehouse, police station or church."

His words have since been shared almost 10,000 times, and he said people all over the country have reached out offering to help.

"We had people from as far as Mississippi that wanted information on how to adopt this baby," he said. "The woman on scene wanted to adopt that baby. It resolidifies my faith in humanity."

The closest fire department is a three minute drive from where the baby was left, and there is a hospital across the street.

It's a good reminder that those are some of the places parents can safely give up a newborn baby with no questions asked as long as the baby is not hurt and is less than a month old.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.