WATCH: Marine Dives to Save Boy Thrown From Burning Building As Mom Makes the Ultimate Sacrifice

A viral video shows a former wide receiver and retired U.S. Marine’s dramatic rescue of a 3-year-old boy thrown from the balcony of a burning building, but he says the real hero is the child’s mother.

The video: Bystander footage of the incident, which occurred on July 3, captures Philip Blanks as he makes a diving catch to save the child, who was tossed from the third story of a Phoenix apartment.

The hero: Blanks, 28, told CBS affiliate WMMT that he raced over to the burning complex after hearing screams while working out with a friend next door.
  • "People were screaming, 'There are kids up there,' and to throw the kids down," he said.
The heroine: Another video of the incident shows a woman, believed to be Rachel Long, throwing her son from the fiery balcony in a last ditch effort to save his life.
  • Long’s family told the station that even though she was on fire, she went back into the building to save her other child, an 8-year-old girl.
  • But unbeknownst to Long, the girl had already been rescued by a good Samaritan; Long did not survive the blaze.
  • "She's the real hero in this story, not me," Blanks said. "She had the strength and the courage to get them outside – that's powerful. To be in that type of situation and still care about life, not yours, that's very strong of her. She's a warrior. She was a warrior."
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