Newborn left in fire department 'baby box' in Indiana

A small, volunteer fire department in northern Indiana just became the first place in the country to save a baby in a new, yet controversial way.

With a tiny box, firefighters say they just saved a life.

So I'm peeking in there and I can see this sweatshirt and a little bitty arm, then boy adrenaline sets in," said fire chief Mick Pawlick.

Pawlick quickly realized this was not yet another false alarm from the safe haven baby box in LaPorte County, Indiana Tuesday night.

"Open it up and that baby just looks me right in the eyes," Pawlick said.

Inside the heated box lay a baby girl, only about an hour old, still messy from birth.

The Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department installed this box about 18 months ago - one of only two in the country where someone can leave a newborn, no questions asked.

Assistant chief Warren Smith pushed for the box and thanks the mother for using it.

"She stepped up to the plate and did the right thing and putting the baby in the baby box instead of us finding the baby in a ditch, the woods or a dumpster like we hear so many horrible stories," said assistant fire chief Warren Smith.

Firefighters say they've gotten a lot of flak for the baby box, even threats. but like the other equipment here, they say this is another tool to save lives.

"I believe what we did last night was something special. we saved a baby's life," Smith said.

"That box ain't there to judge people, we're going to hear good and bad about this but the way I see it it's all good. There was nothing bad done here," Pawlick said.

The firefighters helped take the baby to a Michigan City hospital where she's in good condition.

"Him and I were like proud papas in the back of this ambulance," Pawlick said.

And both firefighters say they would be willing to adopt the girl they call "Baby Hope."