Man Who Saved Toddler Hanging From Balcony Awarded Citizenship

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An immigrant, who has now been labeled "Spider-Man of Paris" is caught on camera quickly scaling the side of an apartment building to save a terrified child that was clinging from a fourth-floor balcony.

It turns out the hero from the video, which went viral over the weekend, is 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, a migrant from Mali living in France.

After meeting him at the Elysee Palace, President Emmanuel Macron said he would be made a naturalised citizen.

The French president said Gassama, who was in France illegally, will be granted citizenship and offered a new job with the Paris fire brigade.

According to reports, the young hero was in the area to watch a football match when he noticed the commotion and sprung into action.

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I like children, I would have hate to see him getting hurt in front of me.

'I did it because it was a child, ' the paper quoted him saying.

Local media states the child's father was taken into custody following the incident and said he left the child alone with the balcony door closed, while he went to go shopping.

"I did not think twice", Gassama, who happened to be walking by, told Macron, adding "I went straight up". As soon as he reached the top, he grabbed the boy with one hand and pulled him to safety.

The video shows Gassama swiftly pulling himself up from balcony to balcony to reach the boy, to the cheers of onlookers. "I have also invited him to apply for citizenship".

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Mr Gassama poses with passers by for a photo. "It is only right that the nation be grateful", Macron told him.

"I replied that his heroic gesture was an example for all citizens and that the City of Paris will obviously be keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France", Hidalgo said.

The AP reports Gassama has authorization to stay legally in Italy, where he landed in 2014 after a trip across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya. By the time firefighters had arrived, the 4-year-old had already been saved.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was among those to praise the 22-year-old's heroism and said she had called him to thank him. He came to France in September to join his older brother, who has lived in France for decades.

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