Philly Man Climbs 15 Storeys of Burning Building to Rescue Bed-Ridden Mother

Monica Otayza
Jul 23, 2019
08:11 A.M.
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A Philadelphia man climbed 15 storeys of their burning building to rescue his bed-ridden mother from a fire. 


A man was spotted scaling a West Philadelphia condominium building during a fire, saying he would do anything and everything he could to reach his mom who was bed-ridden on the 15th floor. 

35-year-old Jermaine already had experience scaling walls, but he didn't know he'd need to use his skills to save his mom's life. 

As a kid, he would jump roofs, and he worked as a construction worker which furthered his knowledge. 

An alarming call

On Thursday night, their 19-story Westpark Apartments building started filling with smoke. He got a call from his sister that their 65-year-old mother Sheila couldn't be rescued from their 15th-floor apartment. 


While he tried to enter through the front door, he was blocked by police. He then decided to climb the building from the outside. 

"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."

Reaching his mom's floor

When he reached his mom's balcony, she signaled that she was okay and that the fire had been contained. While his mom didn't exactly get mad at him, she was shocked that he did what he did. 


"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."

After the risky climb

When he got down, Jermaine was almost sure he'd go to jail. However, a kind officer who understood his situation warned him to leave right away or else his assumption would be true. 

"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 think she's dying - you'd do anything you can."


Jermaine's mom made it out of the building safely, and so did many other residents. However, four civilians and three firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation. 

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