B'klyn Baby Dies Despite Firefighter's Heroics

NY Post - December 24, 2010

by DOUG AUER

An infant died last night, hours after a heroic firefighter pulled her from a burning Brooklyn building.

Four-month-old Aniyah Vaughn suffered facial burns and severe smoke inhalation. She was pronounced dead at New York Hospital.

She had been sleeping when the blaze erupted at 1:22 p.m. yesterday and tore through the four-story building at 521 Greene Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The child's frantic mother ran outside in the middle of the confusion, thinking someone else had grabbed the baby.

When she discovered the infant was still inside, the mom and her male companion tried to rush back in, but were forced back by the fire. Neighbors had to restrain her from running in a second time.

When firefighters tried to get into the front entrance, they, too, were pushed back by the inferno.

But fast-thinking firefighter Danny Insardi hopped a neighbor's fence and broke through a rear door.

Insardi, a 28-year veteran, fought his way through smoke and flames, then broke down a bedroom door to reach the baby.

The deadly blaze was caused by children playing with fire, FDNY officials said.

An off-duty firefighter also tried to rescue the infant, but could not get past the intense heat and flames, a witness said.

Additional reporting by C.J. Sullivan and Matthew Nestel