One 35-year-old man showed just how far he’d go for his mother after scaling a West Philadelphia high rise that was on a fire just to make sure his mother, who is bed-ridden, was okay.
According to 6ABC, the man, identified only as Jermaine, is a roofer and construction worker, so clearly had experience and practice for climbing up the 19-story Westpark Apartments highrise that had started to fill with smoke on Thursday night.
He did this, by the way, while suffering from injuries of his own, having fallen earlier that day and cracked his hip on some stairs.
His brave climb started when he got a call from his sister than their mother, 65-year-old Sheila, couldn’t get out of her apartment on the 15th floor.
Jermaine rushed over and attempted to get through the front door but was stopped by police.
“They said the elevators are not working. I said, ‘No problem. I’ll take 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 told the news station. “They were like ‘we can’t let you in.’ I took it upon myself because that’s my mother. There’s no limits. That’s my mother.”
So Jermaine decided to start to climb the fenced-in balconies of the building with wire cutters in hand.
“All for my mom’s safety, period. I wasn’t worried about mine at all. She can’t get out of the bed or walk around so if there’s a fire she needs help out,” he said.
Jermaine eventually reached his mother’s balcony. Sheila was able to tell her son that the fire was contained and that she was doing okay.
“She’s not surprised by the things that I do for her. She knows I’ll go over and beyond for her,” he said.
And Jermaine actually climbed all the way back down the building once he was able to ensure his mom’s safety. He was worried that he would be arrested for his actions, but an understanding officer allowed him to leave.
“He told me if I didn’t leave I was going straight to jail. Because that was his job. 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,” Jermaine said.
In the end, seven people, including three firefighters, were treated for smoke inhalation, but Jermaine’s mother was able to make it out of the building safely, along with other residents.