A young African immigrant has been dubbed the spiderman if Paris after he climbed four storeys to rescue a dangling boy.
The young man has been hailed a hero after he scaled the facade of a building to save a four-year-old child hanging from a fourth-floor balcony.
Mamoudou Gassama took just seconds to reach the child in a rescue captured on film and viewed millions of times on social networks.
Without a thought for his own safety, Gassama took just seconds to reach the child in a spectacular rescue captured on camera. The incident took place at about 8pm on Saturday in northern Paris.
“Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child,” a fire service spokesman said. Tracked down by reporters 24 hours after the heroic rescue, Gassama said he had acted without thinking.
“I saw all these people shouting, and cars sounding their horns. I climbed up like that and, thank God, I saved the child,” he said. “I felt afraid when I saved the child … [when] we went into the living room, I started to shake, I could hardly stand up, I had to sit down,” he added.
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, praised him on Twitter for his “act of bravery” as well as phoning him personally to “thank him warmly”. She referred to him as the “Spider-Man of the 18th”, referring to the Paris district where the rescue happened.
“He explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here,” she said. “I told him that his heroic act is an example to all citizens and that the city of Paris will obviously be very keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France,” she added.
The young man will next be honoured for his brave rescue by French president Emmanuel Macron who has invited him to the Elysée Palace on Monday, his office said.
According to initial inquiries by the authorities, the child’s parents were not at home at the time. The father was later held for questioning by police for having left his child unattended and was due in court later, a judicial source said. The child’s mother was not in Paris at the time.