Like most summer evenings in Anderson, South Carolina, this one started out warm. But temperatures soon rose as a fire broke out in the kitchen of an Ashford Cove apartment building.
The fire was started when someone left the stove top unattended, then quickly spread throughout the apartment complex.
A young mother who became trapped inside the burning building realized she and her 11-month-old baby had little hope for escape. She rushed to the window, hoping for a miracle.
At that moment, a former Marine happened to be passing by. He saw the distressed mother crying out for help, and quickly went into action.
The Marine stood under the woman’s window and braced himself as she dropped her baby and hoped for the best.
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The baby fell directly into the waiting arms of his heroic Marine. Minutes later, the young mother was able to jump out to safety, too.
Neither suffered much more than a few light scrapes, though they will never forget that fateful day.
Once they were safe, the Marine silently passed out of sight. He was too humble to accept any praise for his assistance.
Fire Chief Michael Guest of the Anderson Fire Department said the Marine didn’t want any attention, even refusing to appear on camera.
“He didn’t want any praise for it, and didn’t want to be on camera. He said it was just what he had to do,” Chief Guest said.
The situation could have been a lot worse. Without help from this brave Marine, both the mother and baby may not have survived.
Whether or not he knows it, the community is grateful for his humble service. Like a guardian angel, the Marine showed up at the perfect time, and just like that, he had vanished.
Watch more of this dramatic rescue in the video below, share this story with your friends, and thank the Marines for instilling the strength, skill, and humility into an incredible American!
This story originally appeared at InspireMore.