In the midst of a burning apartment building in the southeastern French city of Grenoble, a viral video showed two young boys, both brothers, being dropped about 33 feet into the arms of the people below. Talk about getting your adrenaline going.
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The 10-year-old and 3-year-old were caught in the apartment fire and had no way of getting out. Athoumani Walid, a 25-year-old student, had heard screams. When he went to go check on what was happening, he saw the black smoke from the burning building and immediately went to go help with other people.
“We didn’t know what to do. We wanted to break the door but it wasn’t possible,” he told the Associated Press. This resulted in dropping the boys from over three stories up, into the arms of the people down below. The older brother dropped his younger brother first, then proceeded to hang himself off the window, before also falling into the crowd. The video of the dramatic rescue shows how the crowd catches the boys.
Thankfully, both boys were okay, only suffering from smoke inhalation. They were hospitalized along with 17 other residents of the French apartment complex. Walid suffered a broken wrist from the heroic rescue, but said, “when they jumped, fear disappeared,” and that, “What mattered was to catch them.” He also mentioned that, “he hopes the rescue will change the perceptions of the Villeneuve neighborhood, which has a large immigrant population.”
“We are told it’s a ‘sensitive’ neighborhood, but yesterday we showed we are here for each other, and we save each other,” Walid said. Mayor Eric Piolle congratulated those who helped, attesting the rescue to, “the city’s tradition of solidarity and mutual help.” In May 2018, 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, a young Malian migrant, climbed four floors of the apartment building to rescue a child from a building as well. He had already pulled the child to safety by the time Parisian emergency services arrived and was offered French citizenship as a thank you for his efforts.
The video of the rescue definitely had me freaking out a little bit. Mad props to those people in France for not even thinking twice about the dangers they put themselves in to help save others. Would you scale a burning apartment building to save someone?