The man named Jermaine sprang into action when he heard his mother was trapped in her apartment while a fire raged through the building.
How far would you go to save someone you love? A man named Jermaine turned out to be a real-life hero when he scaled a 19-story building (quite like Spider-Man!) to save his bedridden mother. The fire broke out at the Holden Tower on Holden Street around 9:28 p.m. on July 18, 2019. Jermaine who was 35 years old at the time did not think twice before springing into action after hearing about the fire in his mother's apartment building in Philadelphia. He rushed to the scene after his sister called him from Holden Tower and told him that their mother was stuck in the building.
“I actually climbed up because they were saying she was trapped in the apartment,” Jermaine told WPVI, adding that officials would not let him into the building’s front entrance. So what did he do? Jermaine, who had hurt his hip earlier that day, decided to climb up 15 stories to save his mother!
“They said the elevators are not working,” he said, adding that they suggested he could just take the stairs. “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. The first cop said the whole building was on fire. My sister was out there, my mother not out there. I [didn’t] know what else to do but go up and get her.”
The heroic son went up the fenced-in balconies of the building with wire cutters handy. "When I grabbed a gate, at the top of the gate, there was a ledge. Then I could step on top of the ledge and reach up to the other gate, and keep climbing my way up," Jermaine explained. Finally, he found his mother Sheila, 65, and her boyfriend safe on a balcony. Fortunately for the pair, the flames hadn’t reached their floor. They informed him that the fire had been contained.
"She was more shocked. She's not surprised by the things that I do for her. She knows I'll go over and beyond for her," he said, adding, "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." The young man explained that he worked as a roofer and a construction worker. Growing up he was also an adventurous child, and that gave him plenty of climbing experience. “As kids we used to jump roofs,” he said. “Glad I had the practice.”
After the incident Jermaine thought he would get arrested but an understanding officer let him off the hook. "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're thinking she's dying - you'd do anything you can," Jermaine said. Footage showed the young man in a green shirt and jeans as he scaled 15 stories of the high-rise building. "He climbed about 200 feet down on what looked like basically chain-link fencing and then the railings of each apartment building," SkyForce10 pilot Jeremy Haas said, per NBC 10.