Man Climbs 15 Stories of Burning Building To Save Mom

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Thirty-five-year-old West Philadelphia resident Jermaine has experience scaling walls. He was a roofer, a construction worker, and grew up being an adventurous child running, jumping and climbing. He even tried out to be a firefighter but never heard anything back. But little did he know he was going to use that experience to save the life of someone he holds near and dear to his heart.

Last Thursday night when the 19-story Westpark Apartments high-rise in Philadelphia started filling with smoke, Jermaine got a call from his sister that their mother, 65-year-old Sheila, who is bed-ridden, couldn’t get out of her 15th floor apartment.

With hesitation, Jermaine rushed over to the scene. But when he got there and tried to go up to get his mom, the entryway was blocked by police.

“They said the elevators are not working. I said, ‘No problem. I’ll take the steps. I just want to make sure my mother- my mother is sick, she’s bed-ridden. So I need to get up there,” Jermaine said in an exclusive interview with ABC affiliate Channel 6 Action News. “They were like ‘we can’t let you in.’ I took it upon myself because that’s my mother. There are no limits. That’s my mother.”

Jermaine started to scale the fenced-in balconies of the building, with wire cutters in hand. He was already familiar with the layout of the complex because he had lived there in the past.

But get this: earlier that day, Jermaine fell and cracked his hip on a set of stairs. His actually had crutches that he was supposed to use just to walk. But none of that mattered when it come to his mom.

“When I grabbed a gate, at the top of the gate, there was a ledge. Then I could step on top of