Newborn Girl Left on Florida Fire Station Doorstep

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. --

Firefighters checking out a noise outside a Coral Springs fire station Sunday night discovered a newborn baby.

Firefighters said they were inside the Coral Springs Fire Department at 4550 Rock Island Road about 9:30 p.m. when they heard a noise outside.

Thinking an injured animal was making the noise, some firefighters went outside and found a baby girl crying, her umbilical cord still attached.

"I knew the first thing we have to do is get the umbilical cut," said James Gochenour, of the Coral Springs Fire Department. "The child appeared to be healthy, as far as we could tell. She appeared to be of average weight, good skin coloring, and obviously she was crying. That was the most important thing, just keeping her warm and getting her over to the doctor as soon as possible."

Mothers in Florida are allowed to take their newborn babies to fire stations, police departments and hospitals under the Safe Haven law passed in 2000. The law was enacted to prevent mothers from leaving their babies in trash bins, instead providing a way for them to give their babies over to state custody within the first seven days of life.

The baby girl found outside the fire station Sunday night was in good physical health, firefighters said. If her mother does not reclaim her within 30 days, she will be put up for adoption.

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