Phillip Blanks, a retired U.S. Marine and former football player, dove to catch a 3-year-old boy who was thrown from a burning building in Phoenix on July 3. (Albert Bell III via Storyful)
Two people are heroes today thanks to their quick reaction at the scene of a raging apartment fire. Retired U.S. Marine, Phillip Banks was at a friends house when he heard screaming. Phillip ran outside and saw a top floor apartment was fully engulfed with flames. The Washington Post reported that Phillip looked up and saw a petrified woman on the balcony of the burning apartment with a child.
Suddenly the mother dropped the baby, her son, over the railing, Phillip ran over and dove, catching the baby. Phillip said, "I immediately got tunnel vision of the baby and somehow managed to catch him."
At the same time D'Artagnan Alexander was on his way to a nearby plaza when he heard screaming and saw the fire. D'Artagnan immediately knew what he had to do. He parked his car and ran towards the apartment that was on fire. "I have a 3 year old and a 9 year old, so when I heard there were kids in there, that really hit my heart," D'Artagnan told 12NEWS.
D'Artagnan entered the burning apartment, found the girl on the floor, and carried her outside to safety.
The brother and sister were transported to the hospital and although expected to survive, have serious injuries.
Phillip and D'Artagnan were able to meet with each other and together, visited the siblings father, Corey Long in the hospital. "It was very emotional," Phillip said. "We became family, all three of us."
The mother of the children, Rachel Long did not survive the fire. She was never able to make it out of the apartment. Phillip said that the mother is "the real hero" because she was able to save her son.
Phillip and D'Artagnan, you two are also real heroes.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Long Family with their medical bills and road to recovery.