PHOENIX AZ—On Friday July 3, Phillip Banks, and D’Artagnan Alexander, were in close proximity to a burning apartment when they came to the rescue of two children caught in flames. Former college athlete and marine, Banks caught three-year-old boy, Jameson from the 3-story building and local barber, Alexander knocked down the front door to rescue 8-year-old, Roxanne.
In a video that has gone viral since the accident, the boy tossed off of the third story of a burning building, spinning through mid-air before his head landed directly in Banks’ arms.
This is intense … and tragic. Rachel Long made the ultimate sacrifice when she threw her three-year-old son from a burning building in Phoenix, Arizona. He was caught by a heroic onlooker, but sadly his mum died in the fire.
Posted by Courier Mail on Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Banks told Canyon News that he was at a friend’s apartment next door when he heard people going wild outside. He thought it was a fight when he realized moments later that the building was on fire. He didn’t panic but just starting moving fast and ran down three flights of stairs without shoes on after grabbing a few things. He saw that others were below the apartment signaling for the boy to be thrown down.
The former football player at Saddleback College and marine of 4 years stated, “it was my opportunity to step in and make something happen.” Banks said, “I got tunnel vision on the boy and the whole world stopped as he was just spinning in the air.”
When the 3-year-old landed, Banks paced him back and forth saying, “Everything will be ok, I got you. I got you.”
“The boy was screaming. His skin was melting in my hands. He was bleeding. It was pretty horrendous. I seen his injuries and I felt them and I’ll never forget that.”
Eight-year-old, Roxanne was also in the burning apartment when local barber Alexander was arriving for his 9 a.m. appointment near by and witnessed the nightmare. He said, “People were calling for ambulance and one lady was crying ‘help, help, there are kids in there!” He parked his car and ran up three flights of stairs into the building. Alexander attempted to kick the door open and finally got it open on the third try. He yelled for people to come out but with no response and smoke in the air, he went back down to the second floor when he heard a cry for help. He saw 8-year-old, Roxanne’s arms from around the corner as she laid on her stomach yelling “Get me!” Picking her up by her waste, Alexander said “Don’t worry, I got you, let’s go, I got you.” He told Canyon News, “Her body was hot. She had burns on her hands and feet.”
A woman with a damp sheet came to help and wrapped it around them as they were sitting in a nearby car. Ambulance arrived and the children were taken to a hospital.
Thirty-year-old, cosmetology teacher and mother of two children, Rachel Long was unable to escape the apartment and passed away.
There is an on-going investigation of how the fire got started. The two heroes met the family at a hotel to talk about the horrific accident. Banks told Canyon News “It got very emotional… lots of crying. We all became family.”
The two brave men did not suffer any injuries, but some of Alexander’s hair got burnt. His barber shop was right across the way to fix that problem.