Man With One Arm, One Leg Throws Newborn, Toddler to Safety from Burning Bronx Home

He wasn't wearing his prosthetic arm at the time

By Roseanne Colletti
|  Monday, Oct 28, 2013  |  Updated 7:49 PM EDT
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A neighbor caught two children as a one-armed man tossed them from a second-floor balcony in the Bronx. Roseanne Colletti reports.

Roseanne Colletti

A neighbor caught two children as a one-armed man tossed them from a second-floor balcony in the Bronx. Roseanne Colletti reports.

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A one-armed, one-legged man threw a newborn baby girl and his own toddler son from the second-floor balcony of a burning building in the Bronx Monday, witnesses said.

The two-alarm fire broke out in the home on Taylor Avenue in Bruckner just after 4 a.m., according to the FDNY. 

Neighbor Francine Valmont went outside after she smelled smoke and saw flames in the back of the house.

She says she then saw the one-armed man, Fidel Morales, 54, holding his 17-month-old son over the balcony, as a neighbor on the ground was reaching for the child.

"I saw him standing there and the baby was hanging on from his hands so I started to scream," Valmont said.

That neighbor caught the boy, handed him to Valmont and went to catch the baby girl Morales was about to throw.

The baby, a relative of Morales' wife, was also safely caught.

Morales, a Department of Correction employee who uses prosthetic limbs but was not wearing the arm at the time, then jumped from the balcony.

The FDNY says nine people were taken to the hospital. Two were critically hurt. It's not clear who in the family was seriously injured.

Authorities say candles caused the fire, and that there was no smoke alarm in the home.

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