Man climbs 19-story building on fire to check on his mother

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WFLA/CNN) – A man seen scaling a West Philadelphia apartment building during a fire says how he would stop at nothing to reach his mother trapped on the 15th floor.

The harrowing video shows the man climb from one of the higher floors of the 19-floor building on Holden Street. He descended about 15 stories, about 200 feet, in a little less than three minutes.

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.

“They said, they was like the elevator ain’t working, and I’m like, no problem, I’ll take the steps. I just want to go make sure my mother, my mother, she’s sick. She’s bedridden. So I need to get up there.” Jermaine said.

So Jermaine started to scale the fenced-in balconies of the building, with wire cutters in hand.

“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 said.

He did anything he could just to get to his mother.

“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,” he said.

He made it all the way to his mom’s balcony. Once there, Shelia saw her son outside her 15th-floor apartment and assured him she was doing okay.

“The only part the news caught was me climbing down. I actually climbed up cause they saying she was trapped.” Jermaine said.

Jermaine procced to scale back down the building and was expecting to be arrested however, the officer let him go.

“So he actually did cut me a break because he understood the circumstances and he knew. . You know, when your adrenaline pumping, your mom up there, you thinking she dying, you do anything you can.”

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