A West Philadelphia resident was caught on camera Thursday scaling up — and then back down — the side of a 19-story building in an attempt to save his bedridden mother from a fire.
“As kids we used to jump roofs,” said the man who identified himself only as Jermaine as he spoke to a local ABC affiliate on Friday.
“Glad I had the practice,” the 35-year-old daredevil told WPVI-TV.
The former roofer and construction worker had been trying to rescue his mom Thursday night after her high-rise caught fire.
The blaze was reported at around 9:30 p.m., and Jermaine was reportedly spotted climbing down the building — to his mom’s 15th-floor apartment — just a short time later.
He said he tried getting in through the front door, but it was blocked by police.
“They said, ‘We won’t let you in,’ ” he said. “I took it upon myself so there’s no limits; that’s my mother.”
Even with an injured hip, Jermaine managed to make it up to his mom unscathed.
“All for my mom’s safety, period,” he told the TV station. “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.”
Jermaine stated that his mother told him she was doing just fine upon his arrival, so he climbed back down and firefighters put out the flames without incident.
The building was evacuated and all of the residents were accounted for. Four were treated for smoke inhalation, along with three firefighters.
Local TV crews captured Jermaine’s climb from helicopters. He said his mother later saw the footage and was “shocked” but “not surprised.”
“She knows I’ll go above and beyond,” he said.