A former football wide receiver in high school and college is now a hero after making the reception of his life, catching a young boy dropped from a burning building earlier this month in Phoenix, Arizona.
Phillip Blanks, a 28-year-old retired U.S. Marine from Kalamazoo, Michigan, sprung into action to save the life of a toddler who was trapped in the third story of an apartment building that was engulfed in flames.
You can watch the dramatic scene and Blanks’ heroics in this tweet.
Rachel Long, the mother of the child, did not survive the fire but was able to get her child over the railing of the balcony. As the child was falling to the ground Blanks sprinted over and made a diving catch to prevent the boy from hitting the ground, perhaps saving the boy’s life.
Later, it was discovered that the boy’s eight-year-old sister had also been saved from the fire by another hero. D’Artagnan Alexander, a 42-year-old barber, heard that there was another child inside the building after the boy had been rescued and went to the third floor looking.
There he found the girl on the floor and carried her outside.
Both children are in the hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. Over $60,000 has been raised for the Long family through A GoFundMe page. The page has been circulating on social media ever since the video footage of the fire was posted.
According to azcentral, eight total apartment units were affected by the fire and Rachel Long was the only casualty. Investigators say there were no initial signs of suspicious activity.
Alexander and Blanks have since formed a connection through their heroic experience and have even visited the children’s father, Corey Long. Both men told the Washington Post that Long said that he was at work when the blaze broke out.
Both have promised to help Corey Long through this very difficult time.