Man catches Arizona boy, 3, thrown from burning building moments before he hit the ground in heart-stopping video
A former Marine and college wide receiver was able to save the life of a child with one of the most important catches of his life. The 3-year-old child, Jameson Long, was thrown from the balcony of a burning apartment complex with Phillip Blanks making the incredible catch below. The incident was captured on video and had taken place in Phoenix in Arizona on July 3.
Blanks managed to catch the child right before he hit the ground. Blanks told ABC, "Instinct. There wasn't much thinking. I just reacted. I just did it. I know how to catch. I've learned how to catch a football. So I'll give some credit to football."
LIFESAVING CATCH: Eyewitness video shows Phillip Blanks – a former college wide receiver – sprint to the scene of a third-floor apartment fire in Phoenix before catching a small child thrown from a balcony; the mother of the child did not survive. https://t.co/CyIuiva87p pic.twitter.com/egzOxE5bFr— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) July 7, 2020
"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," he said, reports Daily Mail. Both Jameson and his elder sister, 8, were rushed to the hospital with burns along with another woman but are expected to survive.
On the day of the fire, he heard a lot of commotion outside his building and went out to see. He then heard someone yell that there was a fire raging after which he grabbed some things and ran outside barefoot, reports Bretibart. Blanks revealed, "He was twirling in the air like a propeller. I just did my best. His head landed perfectly on my elbow. His ankle got twisted up as I was diving. The guy who was there with me - it looked like he wasn't going to catch him. So that's why I stepped in. I just wanted to make a better catch."
Tragically, the mother died in the fire after she saved her child. The woman's last action was to throw her son to safety given she was already covered in flames. Blanks said, "She's the real hero of the story. Because she made the ultimate sacrifice to save her children." The child's father was not at home when the fire broke out and was at work. Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire, Breitbart shared.
Social media users expressed their condolences for the family and also praised Blanks' quick thinking. One such user shared, "I saw a caption about him catching the baby, and looked up his name hoping to learn if the mother survived ... So darn sad!! Lord! Please guide this child throughout its years!" Another wrote, "Heroic and tragic at the same time. Kudos to Phillip Banks and condolences to the family of the mother," while yet another echoed the same sentiments and shared, "She was probably overcome by the burns and smoke. She just had enough get the baby out. Absolutely heartbreaking."
A GoFundMe campaign has been started for the Long family which states, "Rachel was able to make it to the balcony, where she dropped her son, Jameson, to neighbors waiting below. Eyewitnesses stated that Rachel was on fire at that time, but rather than jumping herself to safety, she went back in for her daughter Roxanne and sadly, did not return. Reports say a passerby kicked in the door of an already engulfed apartment and heroically saved Roxxi."
"Corey, her husband, has no home now and both children are currently hospitalized. He is facing costs of at least 8 surgeries for Roxxi. Please contribute if you feel led to help the Long family in these horrific times. They need our prayers and our finances."