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Saturday, November 26 2011, 1:21 AM
Scorched interior of apartment on President St. after a Thanksgiving Day blaze. Eight-month-old Josiah Alexis was rescued from the inferno by four of the Bravest.
The baby hadn’t taken a breath for 51/2 minutes and there was no heartbeat.
Firefighter Neil Malone, who had given the infant mouth-to-mouth to no avail, knew the difference between life and death would be measured in seconds.
“I was working against the clock,” he said. “It didn’t look good.”
Yet Malone and the paramedics did not give up on the tiny boy whose lungs had been filled with smoke from a Thanksgiving Day inferno.
And then, in the cramped confines of an FDNY ambulance, just before the six-minute mark, came twin miracles: a pulse and a small snortlike cough.
“It’s like a song to your ears to hear that baby get its breath on its own,” Malone said.
“It was the best Thanksgiving I ever had.”
A cigarette touching a mattress sparked the blaze on President St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The residents tried to drag it out and wound up trapped in a hell of heat and smoke.
Firefighter Richard Myers of Rescue 2 arrived on the scene to find one injured man on an awning after he fled the flames — and a woman retreating inside from a third-floor window.
He grabbed a ladder off the truck and climbed up. Inside, the woman, Justine Alexis, 20, was sitting on a bed, staring at him.
“She said, ‘My baby is inside! My baby is inside!’ ” Myers recalled. “I cleared the glass and grabbed her. She was bleeding bad. I lowered her onto the ladder.
“I put on my mask and climbed through the window. . . . There was a guy on the floor at the base of the bed, unconscious.”