When resident in New York City found himself trapped in his apartment building, he actually contemplated jumping from his fifth floor window to escape. But because of a selfless act by a neighbor, he didn't have to.
"Everybody was saying to him, 'don't jump, don't jump, wait, wait,'" Freddy Morales told WNBC-TV of the incident that occurred Monday.
Attempts to let the man use a ladder to reach a nearby fire escape were unsuccessful, video taken of the incident shows, as it was just too unstable and the man was too skittish.
The man didn't quite trust the ladder to carry him safely across the gap to the fire escape. (Image via LiveLeak video screenshot)
That's when neighbors started stepping up. One such person attempted to bridge the gap with his own body, stepping on a window ledge where he might have tried to reach out to the trapped man. At that point black smoke began to billow from the window and the man in the apartment gets scared.
One of the neighbors tries first to bridge the gap himself to help the man. (Image via LiveLeak video screenshot)
Thinking perhaps his best bet was to make it to the apartment below his burning one, the trapped man dangled from his window. (Image via LiveLeak video screenshot)
Other neighbors place the ladder below him, and the hero neighbor drops down a level on the fire escape to cross the ladder to help the dangling man.
The neighbor begins to cross to help the still dangling man down a couple feet. (Image via LiveLeak video screenshot)
The first moment of relief is over. But the men still have to cross back over the gap. (Image via LiveLeak video screenshot)
But they weren't of the woods yet. The pair still had to cross the ladder, bridging a several story fall as smoke continues to burst from the apartment window. It's around this point that the fire department arrives.
The fire continues to rage inside the apartment, sending out black smoke as the pair cross the ladder to the fire escape where firefighters are now waiting for them. (Image via LiveLeak video screenshot)
In a final heart-pounding moment, the men make it safely to the other side.
Watch the harrowing event:
WNBC reported the rescued man being taken to the hospital and was listed in serious, but stable, condition.
The local news station also noted the men who helped in the rescue -- the superintendent's quick thinking to supply a ladder and the man who risked his life to cross it -- do not consider themselves heroes.