Man Escapes Burning Building By Climbing Down Balconies Like Spider-Man
By Bill Galluccio
July 19, 2019
A Philadelphia man attempted a daring rescue while a fire raged in a high-rise building. The man, who has not been identified, rushed to the burning building to check on members of his family who lived there.
He was told his mother was still upstairs in her 15th-floor apartment, but he was denied access to the building to help her. The man decided to take matters into his own hands and sneaked around to the side of the high-rise.
Channeling his inner Spider-Man, he started scaling the balconies, trying to reach the 15th floor. When he got there, he realized that he couldn't get over the fenced terrace and had to climb back down.
He was captured on video making his way back down to the bottom floor, where authorities helped him to the ground. He was told that his mother had been evacuated from her apartment and that she was safe.
Authorities told WPVI that they have a list of elderly residents in the building and that the Philadelphia Housing Authority conducts monthly fire drills at the building.
Residents told the news station that the drills did not prepare them for the chaos of an actual fire.
"It was so much smoke. I couldn't even breathe or nothing. So I just knew to go on the porch. Everybody was yelling, 'what floor is it on? Come out!' And I was like, 'no, we can't go out' because we wouldn't have made it," Marcella Harris, who lives on the 11th floor said.
Officials say the fire began in a trash compactor and the smoke spread through the garbage chute.