A Phoenix mother, Claudia Jimenez, woke up to a devastating sight on Thursday morning when flames engulfed her apartment. Trapped inside with her two young daughters, she desperately called for help.
Jiminez recounted her plea, stating, “I opened my window and I started yelling ‘Please, someone help me, there’s a fire, I can’t get out through the front, I need someone to help me.”
In an unexpected twist, help came from an unlikely source. Joe Hollins, a homeless man, and his wife were camping nearby when they heard Jiminez’s cries. Without hesitation, Hollins rushed to her aid, as he described, “All I see is a lady pull open the window and she’s screaming ‘Please help me, please help me.'”
Positioning himself under the window, Hollins instructed Jiminez to drop her children to him. “He was right underneath and he was like ‘Yes, throw your daughters out, I’m going to catch them, I’m going to get them,'” Jiminez recalled.
One by one, she lowered one-year-old Valerie and eight-year-old Natalie, followed by their two dogs, all of whom Hollins safely caught.
However, when it was Jiminez’s turn to jump, she hesitated in fear. Hollins reassured her, saying, “‘I got you. Don’t worry.'” Overcoming her fear, Jiminez finally took the leap, landing safely in Hollins’ arms. The fire department arrived shortly afterward to combat the flames, and amidst the chaos, Jiminez and her grateful family expressed their indebtedness to Hollins.
“I will forever be thankful to him, you know? Like I said, to me he was an angel,” Jiminez expressed. “Because of him we’re here, we’re alive, and my daughters are safe.”
However, Hollins humbly dismissed the praise, stating that anyone would have done the same, particularly for children. While Jiminez and her family escaped unharmed, they lost all their belongings, as did many other residents of the building. In response, the community has rallied together to raise funds and support the survivors.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.