A video that has gone viral on social media shows how a Marine sprang into action as a toddler was dropped from a 3rd floor balcony of a burning apartment.
What We Know:
- The fire broke out at the apartment near 19th and Dunlap Avenues on Friday.
- A woman was found dead by firefighters. She was identified as 30-year-old Rachel Long, a mother of two children who were also seriously injured in the fire, police said.
- As smoke and flames engulfed the apartment, Phillip Blanks saw what was happening.
- Cellphone video shows Blanks running toward the building, where the third story apartment was engulfed. A woman, believed to be the child’s mother desperately dropped him off the third-floor balcony.
- Blanks, a Marine and a wide receiver in high school, was there to catch him. “He helicoptered around before he fell. His torso landed right in my elbow. Right here. So, it was a perfect landing.”
- “I can definitely credit to the Marine Corps for instilling this good training in me to save a life,” he said. “I don’t see myself as a hero. A person trained to do my job is trained to protect people.”
- According to police, officers arrived at the apartment around 9 a.m. Neighbors met the police officers with the two children.
- Police say officers carried the children, an 8-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy, to fire rescue units and then they transported both children to a nearby hospital in serious condition. They both suffered serious burns, but they will recover.
The fire is still under investigation. Blanks says his thoughts are with the family and he’s making it his mission to continue to help the kids. There is a GoFundMe for the Long Family.