Philadelphia man scales apartment building on fire

Upon learning his mother was trapped inside a burning building, a man named "Jermaine" risked his own life to save his mother's.
2:41 | 07/20/19

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Transcript for Philadelphia man scales apartment building on fire
A man in Philadelphia risked life and limb as he climbed up an apartment building on fire and now we're learning more about why he did it. ABC's Diane Macedo is here with the story. Good morning. Good morning. This man, Jermaine, works in construction. He's used to climbing but he never expected he would use that training like this. When he arrived to a burning building and learned his mother was trapped inside.hen he arrived to a burning building and learned his mother was trapped inside. It's a heart pounding and heartwarming tale of bravery. He's climbing all the way up the outside of the building. Reporter: A man scaling a 19-story burning building in Philadelphia with the hopes of reaching his mother trapped inside. I'm not just going to sit there and let my mom die. I'd rather risk my life falling than let her sit in there and die. Reporter: Some time after 9:30 P.M. Jermaine received a call from his sister saying his 65-year-old immobile mother couldn't make it out of her apartment on the 15th floor. Jermaine rushed to the scene but police had blocked off the front door. They was like, the elevator is not working. I'm like, no problem, I'll take the steps. I want to make sure my mother -- my mother is sick, bedridden. I need to get up there. Reporter: But police wouldn't let Jermaine in. So despite having fractured his hip earlier that day, Jermaine let adrenaline take over, climbing the building's fenced-in balconies, wire cutters in hand. I was going to cut a hole in the fence to next door and then let her go through. Reporter: The fire was contained by the time he reached his mother's floor. She reassured him from the balcony that she was okay and back down he went. She's not surprised the things I do for her. She knows I go over and beyond for her. Reporter: Officers were waiting for him below but under the circumstances opted not to arrest him. I think if anybody else was in that circumstance they would do the same thing. Don't nobody just want to sit outside and lose their mother. For those who think Jermaine must be crazy, residents said from the ground level you could see people on their porches waving flags and trying to get help. He said there was no way he could just sit there on the ground and do nothing. When he said that's my mother up there and she's bedridden, it's kind of hard to think he's crazy in that context. That's why, I mean, in the context, police could have arrested him but he said when he got down and talked to the officer, the officer kind of just understood the circumstances and said, okay, we're just going to let this one go. The fact that he had to climb all the way back down -- Oh, you're okay, great, bye. Why didn't he use the wire cutters then? I like the description of his mom's reaction. Initially she was shocked when she saw him and then was like immediately, of course he climbed up the building. Of course he did this. She raised him well.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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