A former college soccer player and retired U.S. Marine is being hailed as a hero after he helped saved a baby thrown from a third-floor apartment that was on fire over the weekend.
Phillip Blanks, 28, was filmed in a heart-stopping video diving to catch the 3-year-old boy as he was dropped from the balcony of the burning third-floor apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, Friday, July 3, 2020.
“People were screaming, ‘There are kids up there’ and to throw the kids down,” Blanks, who was a wide receiver at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan and later joined the Marines, told WWMT.
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“I saw another guy was standing there ready to catch the boy, but he didn’t look like he was going to do it, so I stepped in front of him.”
Blanks said he was going for a workout with a friend who lived next door to the apartment when he heard the screaming and quickly rushed to the building to catch a young child he says was “twirling like a helicopter” as he fell through the air.
The former college wide receiver caught the boy and brought him to safety, the news outlet reported. The toddler and his 8-year-old sister suffered critical injuries but their 30-year-old mother died in the blaze, authorities told the Arizona Republic.
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