PHILADELPHIA (WPVI/CNN) – A man climbed a 19-story building in Philadelphia during a fire to reach his mother who was trapped on the 15th floor.
Smoke filled the 19-story high rise at 4445 Holden Street as people rushed out of the building.
Jermaine got a call from him his sister that their mom, who is immobile, couldn’t make it out of her apartment on the 15th floor.
He rushed over and first attempted the front door which was blocked by police.
“They said, they was like the elevator ain’t working, and I’m like, no problem, I’ll take the steps. I just want to go make sure my mother, my mother, she’s sick. She’s bedridden. So I need to get up there,” Jermaine said.
Earlier that day, the 35-year-old fell and cracked his hip on a set of stairs but when he saw that his mom was in need, adrenaline took over.
He resulted to climbing the fenced-in balconies with wire cutters in hand.
“Every ledge it was like, when I grabbed the gate, at the top of the gate, it was a ledge. Then I could step on the ledge and reach up to the other gate and keep climbing my way up,” Jermaine said.
Finally, Jermaine reached his mom on the 15th-floor balcony who assured him the fire was contained and she was ok.
“She was more shocked. She don’t be surprised the things I do now. She knows I’ll go over and beyond for her,” Jermaine said.
So back down he went, expecting a quick arrest once on the ground but an understanding officer let him go.
“So he actually did cut me a break because he understood the circumstances and he knew. You know, when your adrenaline pumping, your mom up there, you thinking she dying, you do anything you can,” Jermaine said.
As for those expert climbing skills…
“We used, kids, we used to jump. Glad I had the practice,” Jermaine said.