An inspiring piece (with a video, 0:41) in today’s Times:
As a billowing orange inferno spread across the balcony of a second-floor flat in Arizona a former high school American football player rushed towards the building.
“Throw the baby down,” someone shouted, and at that moment a woman appeared through the smoke and dropped a child. In a video of the incident in Phoenix that surfaced yesterday Philip Blanks, a security professional and retired US Marine, can be seen charging forwards in a red T-shirt, baggy shorts and bare feet as the child, a three-year-old boy, plummets down. “I’d seen the building was on fire and like my instinct kicked in,” Mr Blanks, 28, told a news station.
Another man was initially better positioned to grab the child “but he didn’t look like he was going to do it”. So Mr Blanks dived in front of him and got his body underneath the boy to keep his head from hitting the ground.
The boy and his eight-year-old sister were seriously injured but will recover, police said. Their mother, identified as Rachel Long, 30, did not survive. “She’s the real hero of the story,” Mr Blanks said. “She made the ultimate sacrifice.”
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