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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Hero Risks Life Climbing Through Broken Second-Story Window to Save Two Children and a Dog from Fire

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On Feb. 18, a fire broke out in an apartment complex in Mesa, Arizona, but a good Samaritan showed up out of nowhere to make a breathtaking rescue.

By the time the first responders arrived, the second stories of two of the units near Gilbert Road and Hampton Avenue were already engulfed in flames.

Then they learned that a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old were still trapped inside.

As an officer ran around to the back of the building, spotted the room where the two children were located and began throwing rocks at the window to break the glass, the good Samaritan came bounding toward him.

According to KPNX, the man had seen the smoke and fire and made his way to the apartment complex to see if he could help.

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According to the officer’s body camera, the officer asked the man if he had a ladder, and he said no. But he simply didn’t need one. With a bound, the hero was over the fence between them and the building, and in a matter of seconds he had jumped onto a shed below the window and reached up to tear out the broken glass window frame with his own bare hands.

As voices came yelling for the children to come to the window, the man — who some have dubbed “Spider-Man” — leaped effortlessly up to the window.

The hero quickly found the 2-year-old, dressed only in a diaper, and pulled her through the window, handing her off to first responders. Next, he went into the apartment, found the 6-year-old and a dog and handed them through, too.

Thanks to his quick and agile actions, the children were taken to the hospital but only suffered minor injuries.

At first, the athletic do-gooder declined to be identified, but later stepped forward and has since been recognized for his actions, according to KPNX.

“The City of Mesa proudly recognized Jonathon Baez late last week for his heroic efforts on Friday, February 18, 2022, at 1927 E. Hampton in Mesa where he saved the lives of two young children from a burning apartment,” the City of Mesa Police Department shared on March 14.

“Mayor John Giles, Councilmember Mark Freeman, Councilmember David Luna, Assistant City Manager John Pombier, Fire Chief Mary Cameli and Police Chief Ken Cost all personally recognized Jonathon for his extraordinary efforts and selfless acts of bravery. The event took place at Mesa Fire Station #201 with Jonathon’s family present.”

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The cause of the fire has not been determined.

After coming forward, Baez did an interview with KNXV-TV, where he watched the video of himself rescuing the children.

“I think it was adrenaline, I was surprised to see myself,” he said. “I was like, ‘whoa.'”

“People act differently when things happen. I didn’t even expect to act like that myself.”

He also said that being a father himself, hearing of the kids in danger prompted him to act.

“When I heard the kids, I definitely thought about my daughter,” he said. “I would rather burn myself than just stand there and watch them burn.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking