71 Year Old Ronnie Poe Caught by Neighbors After Jumping From Burning Building

(Photo: CBSNewYork)

Ronnie Poe, described by various media outlets as either 71 or 72-years-old, survived a terrifying jump from the window of his burning building in New York City last week without a single broken bone.  How?  Thanks to a group of eight brave neighbors who gathered beneath his window, linking arms to catch him.

WABC relates:

“I had no choice but to lean out the window and hang on as long as I could,” Poe said.

[...]

The smoke was coming in so bad. We said jump, jump we catch you.  I said you a paratrooper, jump,” Alaam Thomas said.

Not afraid of heights, Ronnie was a paratrooper who made close to 50 jumps during his military career.  Now at 71 and in pretty good shape, his chances were good.

“‘We got you. We got you.’ Waited a few more minutes, I let go and jumped,” Poe said.

You see in the video he’s holding onto a cable as he starts to descend, and then he let go at the last minute and fell into the arms of eight good Samaritans.

We were just concerned about his head.  Primarily, just his head.  That’s what we thought about.  I know for certain he knew he was going to live,” Thomas said. [Emphasis added]

Likely a little shocked by the outcome, Poe says he “just hoped for the best,” and was glad not to have suffered any broken bones.  With a smile, he described his rescuers as “good people.”

Here is video of the daring escape, and an interview with Poe and one of his rescuers: