PHOENIX — A man and his teenage cousin were being hailed as heroes
Thursday after they helped catch two frightened children thrown by their mother
from a burning second-floor Phoenix apartment.
Justin Rose and 15-year-old John Gallup were out for a swim with friends just
before midnight Wednesday when a fire began to engulf the complex about 150 feet
Rose told KPHO-TV he and Gallup ran over to see what
was happening, and by the time they got there the fire was “getting pretty
“Then we see a lady open a window and screaming, `Help! Help me!”’ he said.
Rose, 24, said he and Gallup ran to the complex and told the woman to drop her
children to them.
“We said, `We will catch you. Trust us,”’ Rose said.
“I was thinking, `Help these people. They could die,”’ Gallup told reporters.
Bianca Milton dropped her 3-year-old son first and then her 6-year-old
“I felt trapped. It was a mother’s choice. It was something I had to do,”
Milton said Thursday. “I was in mama mode.”
Rose and Gallup handed the children to Gallup’s sister and another female teen.
Milton then began throwing down some of her personal belongings, including a
laptop and cell phone, according to Rose.
Then, Milton suddenly jumped. But John Gallup said he was able to grab her
upper body and cushion her fall and she suffered a minor scrape to her knee.
Phoenix Fire Department officials said six of the eight units in the apartment
complex were destroyed by the blaze. The cause of the fire remained under
Rose said firefighters told him that the survival rate of a child falling from
a second-story level was 30 percent to 40 percent without someone helping and 40
percent for an adult.
“If you were to take those odds and they would have just jumped, their chances
of survival would be very slim,” Rose said. “She put her trust in us and we
came through for her.”
“I trusted strangers to save my babies,” Milton said. “I didn’t know what
else to do. They’re everything I have.”
Gallup was trying to take the hero talk in stride.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had, and ever will, most likely,” he said.