It was just another day on the job for firefighter Joanna Alrecht. Snow covered the ground and the temperature was below freezing in Yakima, Washington on Christmas Eve when Alrecht heard an unusual noise coming from the back of the station before sunrise.
“I was pretty shocked to see an infant, wrapped in towels, inside a cardboard box,” Alrecht told NBC News. “But I was just relieved when I finally heard her make a sound.”
The fire station is a safe haven for anyone to bring and leave a newborn baby, but anyone who does is supposed to ring the front doorbell and leave the child with a firefighter or volunteer.
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The Christmas Eve baby was dropped off without any notice.
“She’s just very fortunate to have been found. This is definitely a miracle, a true miracle situation.”
The firefighters estimated that the baby had been outside in the cold for at least an hour and was only a few days old.
“Her umbilical cord was clamped shut with a bobby pin,” said Alrecht. “She was very, very new.”
Authorities say the infant is recovering at a local hospital.
They are searching for the child’s mother to ensure her well-being. Police do not plan on arresting her for violating the safe haven laws.
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