A former Marine has been dubbed a hero after rushing to the aid of the family trapped inside a burning home and catching a young boy who was thrown off the balcony by his mother before she was engulfed in flames.
The heartbreaking incident occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, where 28-year-old Phillip Blanks, who is also a former football player, rushed to the home of 30-year-old Rachel Long who got trapped in her third-story home as the place was consumed by flames.
Hearing the calls for help, the Marine rushed to the building barefoot and just in time to catch 3-year-old Jameson Long whom the mother had thrown from the balcony in order to save his life.
“There wasn’t much thinking. I just reacted. I just did it,” the young man said of his dramatic rescue in an interview with ABC.
As Blanks went on to suggest, the young boy’s mother was the real hero for making “the ultimate sacrifice to save her children.”
According to Blanks, who played as a receiver back in his college days, his experience in football is to be credited for the rescue of young Jameson.
“I just did my best. His head landed perfectly on my elbow. I know how to catch. I’ve learned how to catch a football. So I’ll give some credit to football,” the 28-year-old added.
“I can definitely credit to the Marine Corps for instilling this good training in me to save a life. I don’t see myself as a hero. A person trained to do my job is trained to protect people.”
According to the reports and the GoFundMe page set up for the Long family, the mother ran back into her apartment to look for her daughter Roxanne after throwing Jameson into safe arms. Unfortunately, she did not survive the attempt to save her daughter.
“Reports say a passerby kicked in the door of an already engulfed apartment and heroically saved Roxxi,” the GoFundMe page reads.
“… Corey, her husband, has no home now and both children are currently hospitalized. He is facing costs of at least 8 surgeries for Roxxi.”
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