An enigmatic hero dubbed ‘Le Spiderman’ who saved a child dangling from a fourth storey balcony has been granted French citizenship and offered a job as a fireman.
Mamoudou Gassama, an immigrant from Mali who arrived in Paris a few months ago, met with France’s President Macron this morning at the Elysee Palace.
There, he was praised for his heroic efforts last Saturday evening.
Macron thanked the brave soul and said he would be made a naturalised citizen. Macron also said he would be given a role as a volunteer firefighter.
Noticing a small child dangling just out of reach of adult on the scene, Gassama managed to climb four floors with his bare hands at an impressive speed to reach the infant and potentially save his life.
Gassama took just seconds to reach the child in a rescue captured on film and viewed millions of times online.
You can watch his impressive efforts in the clip below:
Quel courage .. bravo à ce jeune du 18eme pour cet acte héroïque ??
Posted by Habib Bibou on Saturday, 26 May 2018
Gassama told the French broadcaster BFMTV he reacted on instict when he saw the youngster in peril.
I did not think, I saved him. When I took him in my arms, I spoke with him and asked: ‘Why did you do that?
But he did not answer.
This is Mamoudou Gassama, a Malian immigrant meeting w/ French president Macron, as he was being offered a French citizenship and a job with the fire brigade.Mamoudou heroically saved a 4-yr old boy hanging off a balcony of a four storey building in Paris. Beauty of Selflessness. pic.twitter.com/SygVxonn7J
— Khalid,TheWakaholic ?? (@dr_khalidz) May 28, 2018
Tracked down by reporters days later, Gassama recalled the incident:
I saw all these people shouting and cars sounding their horns. I climbed up like that and, thank God, I saved the child.
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.
— euronews (@euronews) May 28, 2018
Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the child had already been rescued.
Many online commentators have wondered why the adult male on the fourth floor balcony couldn’t help the child without Gassama also risking his life.
But an eye-witness who was at the scene told French newspaper Le Parisien:
There [was] a fence and a gap between them… The neighbour could not afford to lean back to get the child himself.
A fire service spokesman said:
Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child.
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, praised Gassama on Twitter for his ‘act of bravery’ and phoned him to ‘thank him warmly’.
She described him as the ‘Spider-Man of the 18th’, citing the Parisian district where the rescue happened.
Je suis très heureuse pour #MamoudouGassama. Le Président de la République a pris une belle décision en faveur de ce héros qui a sauvé à Paris la vie d’un enfant. J’y vois un signal positif de ce que la France peut réserver en matière d’accueil et de volonté d’intégration. https://t.co/SuIvpHtsUU
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) May 28, 2018
He explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here.
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.
Avec M. GASSAMA qui a sauvé samedi la vie d’un enfant en escaladant 4 étages à mains nues. Je lui ai annoncé qu’en reconnaissance de cet acte héroïque il allait être régularisé dans les plus brefs délais, et que la brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris était prête à l’accueillir. pic.twitter.com/xMpFlP1UFe
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 28, 2018
22-year-old Mamoudou clearly has the credentials to make a great protector of the people!
A truly well-deserved right awarded to a selfless guy who earned it wholeheartedly.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.