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As a raging 5-alarm fire engulfed a Houston apartment complex on Tuesday, March 25, one construction worker was stuck on the top floor of the 5-story building. As the unidentified man stood on a balcony, flames were getting closer. He made the decision to drop down to the balcony below him.
A ladder truck moved quickly to get in position to save him. HFD Senior Captain Hawthorne was at the top of the ladder and was able to make a dramatic rescue. What happened next showed just how close this was to becoming a disaster as the roof collapsed just seconds after the ladder truck pulled away from the building.
"You just try and get to him," said Hawthorne. "And then, you don't want him to jump too soon. He waited until we got the ladder truck close enough. He just said, 'Thank you Jesus.' He was ecstatic."
The rescue was filmed from a neighboring building by Karen Jones.
"When we saw his foot slip, it was just like uhhh, oh God he's going to fall. We thought he was going to be gone," Jones said. "I hope that wherever he is, he's thanking God that he made it off there, and he's home with his family now."
Firefighters are still investigating the cause of the blaze.
Raw footage of dramatic rescue
Video captures dramatic rescue of construction worker during raging Houston apartment fire