3-week-old baby rescued from burning home in Corona, Queens

CORONA, Queens (WABC) -- The nephew of FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro is being hailed as a hero after he pulled a 3-week-old baby boy from the smoky attic of a burning home in Queens Tuesday night.

The fire broke out at the house on 106th Street in Corona just after 9:30 p.m.

Authorities say that when FDNY Lieutenant Adam Vilagos arrived, family members were yelling that a baby was trapped upstairs. He ran up to the attic, where he felt his way around before bumping into the baby's crib.

"I got up to the top, did a search, and happened to find the baby in a crib," he said. "I wound up actually bumping into the crib, and I heard very faint noises. The baby was making faint noises, and I reach in, I felt the baby, and I just grabbed him and took off."

The 18-year veteran scooped up the child and ran him downstairs to safety. Sunjay Headley, Jr., is now in stable condition and under the care of doctors at Cornell Medical Center.

"When he came out with the baby, I was so happy because I couldn't get to him," fire victim Therin Pressley said. "I didn't have the equipment to get to him. It was too much smoke. I was inhaling smoke and I was on fire."

Four other children in the house got out safely, and the flames were quickly brought under control.

"Thank you so much for saving my nephew's life," aunt Anita Brown said. "Thank you for coming very fast. Thank you to the Red Cross, but just, thank you...Sanjay is fine. He's doing okay. Right now, they just want to get him to eat. You know, the mom, she's doing all right. My sister is right beside her baby, and they're doing fine."

The 42-year-old Vilagos is a part of Engine 316 in East Elmhurst, the same firehouse as his father and grandfather. He served on September 11th.

"I don't know if hero is the right word, just that's what we do," he said. "It's what we are trained to do, and glad that it worked out."

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is not considered suspicious at this time.
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