Firefighters rescued a desperate woman hanging from a window fifteen stories above the street as dozens of people were trapped inside a Manhattan high-rise when a fire tore through the upper floor of an apartment building Saturday.
Roughly 23 residents of the E. 52nd St. building near First Ave. were told the shelter in place on the roof as firefighters battled a blaze on the 20th floor of the 37 story complex.
Scores of other residents were told to stay in their units as firefighters fought the massive 10:30 a.m. fire, an FDNY spokesman said.
A video posted on Twitter showed a woman hanging from a window ledge as the fire raged.
As smoke eaters tried to grab hold of her, one firefighter used a rope to repel down the side of the building, the video shows. The daring firefighter grabbed the woman around the waist as another lowered the rope to a lower apartment..
“In my ENTIRE life I’ve never seen anything more #HEROIC than what i witnessed from #NYC apt.,” said Patti Ryan as she tweeted out the video. “Woman rescued by #NYBRAVEST #FDNY in apt fire, tried to escape smoke, she slipped, hung 15 stories up. THANK U to our heroes!!!!”
Firefighters were going door to door as they evacuated the building and responded to numerous calls of people trapped in their apartments above the floor where the fire broke out.
“We’ve asked them to shelter in place until fire units can make their way up to their apartment,” the FDNY spokesman said.
At least 20 tenants suffered slight burns and other light injuries. They were initially treated at the scene with some were taken to area hospitals for additional care.
FDNY fire marshals were trying to determine what sparked the blaze.