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“HEARTSTOPPING” VIDEO: Houston Firefighter Aerial Ladder Rescue from Balcony of Burning Apartment Building

Wed March 26 2014 4:18 am
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Ladder rescue of construction worker from a balcony of an apartment building under construction during an extra alarm fire at the building.

Firefighters used an aerial ladder to rescue a construction worker from an upper floor of an apartment building that was on fire Tuesday. Houston firefighters responded about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to a fire at an apartment complex under construction at Dallas and Montrose (also reported as Dallas and Marconi). A construction worker was stranded on an unfinished balcony with no railing on the fifth floor of a burning apartment building. With heat and fire building, he dropped himself to the fourth floor balcony with a reverse pull up maneuver.

Firefighters then brought the aerial ladder to his level. Two firefighters were on the ladder with with both firefighters climbing rapidly. The maneuvering of the aerial ladder and the load of the two firefighters caused the aerial ladder to rock and sway, which apparently prompted the top-level firefighter to order the lower firefighter back down the ladder. The urgency was to stop the rock and sway as quickly as possible to provide a stable ladder for the transfer of the construction worker from the balcony. It appears the ladder was extended fully with about a two-foot gap. The construction worker was agile enough to cross the gap, and successfully rescued.

While the rescue was successful, a wall collapsed dangerously close to the firefighter and construction worker as both were making their way to safety on the ground.

Houston Fire Department Rescue.

Cell phone video shows wider view
Two-part cell phone video show rescue of construction worker who dropped himself from a fifth floor balcony to a fourth floor balcony to avoid heat and flames. Firefighters then moved an aerial ladder to the fourth floor balcony and a firefighter climbed up the ladder to rescue the construction worker (View full screen, recommended).

The videos were captured from an office building across the street from the apartment fire.

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