A Philadelphia man defied death by climbing a burning 19-story building to rescue his elderly mother from the flames. The 35-year-old man Jermaine did it to save his physically disabled mom after his sister told him of the fire in the building.
As Jermaine arrived at the high-rise, he was stopped by the Philadelphia authorities as rescue work was being carried out, but he was anxious about his 65-year-old mother Sheila who was bedridden in her apartment on the 15th-story.
“They said the elevators are not working,” Jermaine said, “I said, ‘No problem. I’ll take the steps.” He explained why he took such a big risk of taking the steps, “I just want to make sure my mother — my mother is sick, she’s bed-ridden. So I need to get up there,” Jermaine said. “They were like ‘we can’t let you in.’”
Jermaine has always been an adventurous person from young, doing climbing as a kid, then worked in construction and roofing as an adult, he climb up the side of the building to his mother’s apartment.
“I took it upon myself because that’s my mother. There’s no limits. That’s my mother,” he said. Jermaine knew exactly how to get to his mother’s apartment because he used to live there. His mother was in shock to see him standing on her balcony, and assured she was fine.
Watch: Breathtaking video of a son climbing 19 Story Building to save mom
Sheila wasn’t surprised by her son’s antics as Jermaine put it, “She was more shocked. She’s not surprised by the things that I do for her. She knows I’ll go over and beyond for her,” Jermaine said.
Even though Jermaine had a fall earlier that day which left him with a painful cracked hip, he wasn’t concerned about it as his focus was on scaling the building and then back down again after he saw that his mother was fine and the fire had been contained.
“All for my mom’s safety, period. I wasn’t worried about mine at all,” he said. “She can’t get out of the bed or walk around so if there’s a fire she needs help out.” As soon as he reached the ground, he saw the police waiting for him, but instead of being arrested, he was met with compassion.
“He told me if I didn’t leave I was going straight to jail. Because that was his job,” Jermaine said of the police officer. “But, he actually did cut me a break. He understood the circumstances, he knew — when your adrenaline is pumping, and your mom is up there, you thinking she’s dying — you’d do anything you can.”
The Philadelphia Fire Department determined the fire started as a trash fire, and smoke went upward through a garbage chute. 7 people were hospitalized due to the heat and smoke but they expected to recover.
This amazing story of a son scaling up a 19-story building worried about his mother’s life while not caring about his own life is an inspiration to all of us.