Former high school football star, Marine catches toddler dropped from burning 3rd-floor apartment

Former high school football star, Marine catches toddler dropped from burning 3rd-floor apartment
Stock photo of a fire truck. A former high school football star and retired U.S. Marine is being hailed as a hero after he saved an Arizona toddler from a burning building in Phoenix last week. (Perry Gerenday / Moment / Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A former high school football star and retired U.S. Marine is being hailed as a hero after he saved an Arizona toddler from a burning building in Phoenix last week.

Phillip Blanks, a retired U.S. Marine and former Kalamazoo Central wide receiver, made a diving catch of a 3-year-old...

Posted by Newschannel 3, CBS News, WWMT, West Michigan on Monday, July 6, 2020

According to WWMT, Phillip Blanks, 28, caught the 3-year-old boy, who was dropped from a third-floor apartment early Friday as a fire raged inside. 

Content Continues Below

"People were screaming, 'There are kids up there' and to throw the kids down," Blanks, who was a wide receiver at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan and later joined the Marines, told WWMT. "I saw another guy was standing there ready to catch the boy, but he didn't look like he was going to do it, so I stepped in front of him."

Blanks caught the boy, whose foot was injured in the fall, and brought him to safety, the news outlet reported. 

The toddler and his 8-year-old sister suffered critical injuries, authorities told the Arizona Republic. The children's 30-year-old mother died in the blaze, the newspaper reported.

Read more here and here.