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Hero Scales Building with Bare Hands, Risking Life To Save Child Dangling from Balcony

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Mamoudou Gassama came to Paris in hopes of finding a better life and more job opportunities. He would get those — but his application process would be one of a kind.

The 22-year-old from Mali was out at a restaurant last week to catch a football game, but he ended up catching a lot more.

He heard a commotion going on outside, so he followed the sound. What he found was terrifying: a small child was dangling from the railing of a fourth-story apartment building.

People were yelling, screaming and calling for emergency assistance. Some people were trying to scale the fence at the bottom of the apartments — a tall security fence topped with spikes.

The situation looked grim. Gassama saw the situation and leapt into action.

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He flew up the fence, hauled himself up over the railing from the first balcony, and jumped to the next level, and the next.

A couple on a neighboring balcony were trying to reach the 4-year-old, but there was a privacy wall keeping them from being able to grab the child and pull him to safety.

Fortunately, Gassama pulled himself over the fourth balcony and yanked the child to safety. The crowd cheered, thrilled to see the young child safe.

The child was apparently left at home, and his negligent father has since been released but an investigation is ongoing.

“I like children, I would have hated to see him getting hurt in front of me,” Gassama later said. “I ran and I looked for solutions to save him and thank God I scaled the front of the building to the balcony.”

 

Avec M. GASSAMA qui a sauvé samedi la vie d’un enfant en escaladant 4 étages à mains nues. Je lui ai annoncé qu’en reconnaissance de cet acte héroïque il allait être régularisé dans les plus brefs délais, et que la brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris était prête à l’accueillir. Je l’ai également invité à déposer une demande de naturalisation. Car la France est une volonté, et M. GASSAMA a démontré avec engagement qu’il l’avait ! – With Mr Gassama who saved a child’s life on Saturday by climbing 4 floors with his bare hands. I told him that in recognition of his heroic act he would have his papers in order as quickly as possible and that the Paris fire brigade would be keen to welcome him to their ranks. I also invited him to submit a naturalization request because France is built on desire and Mr Gassama’s commitment clearly showed that he has that desire!

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A tweet from the Paris fire brigade was their official job offer. “Mamoudou shares the values of the Paris fire brigade,” they wrote. “We are ready to welcome him.”

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French President Macron met with Gassama on Monday, and offered him citizenship to recognize his contributions.

“With Mr Gassama who saved a child’s life on Saturday by climbing 4 floors with his bare hands,” he posted on Instagram.

“I told him that in recognition of his heroic act he would have his papers in order as quickly as possible and that the Paris fire brigade would be keen to welcome him to their ranks. I also invited him to submit a naturalization request because France is built on desire and Mr Gassama’s commitment clearly showed that he has that desire!”

Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, also recognized the hero’s actions. “He explained to me that he arrived from Mali a few months ago with the dream of making a life for himself here. I replied that his heroic act is an example for all citizens and that the city of Paris will obviously be keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France.”

Thankfully this story has a happy ending: the child was saved, he has been put in the hands of more caring people, and Gassama is well on his way to citizenship and work!

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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.
Location
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking




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