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Everyday Heroes: Phoenix men save children from apartment fire

Former football player makes catch of a lifetime - NBC's Gadi Schwartz reports

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Under a burning apartment in Phoenix, Arizona - a sprint and a heart-stopping catch.

The fire in Phoenix that trapped 2 children and claimed their mother's life

"I just had tunnel vision God helped me make that catch." said Philip Banks.

The man seen clutching a 3-year-old boy named Jameson after saving his life is Philip Banks, a former high school wide receiver and retired Marine.

"It was very close close to the ground, it was a miracle." said Banks.

And he wasn't the only hero that day. Nearby, another man, Dartanguan Alexander, heard the screams of Jameson's sister Roxanne, and thought of his own children.

"I started to kick the door and i kick it in and once got the door open I see a lot of smoke and fire and heat-" said Alexander.

"And you still went in?" asked NBC's Gady Schwartz.

"I just ran in there and grabbed her by the arms and she said Get me, get me, and I was like I got you." explains Alexander.

The children's mother did not survive the blaze.

Tragically, the children's mother died in the fire while trying to get her kids to safety. Now both men can't stop thinking about the brother and sister in the hospital.

"My goal is to be involved in their lives as much as possible...
make sure they feel loved and know their mother was a hero." said Banks.

Two strangers how hoping to be there for the kids in the future, just like they were on that fateful day.

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in September of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest. Her grandmother first moved to Yuma in the late 1940’s, and Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

Reach out to Lisa with story ideas and your digital feedback at

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