A death-defying escape was captured on video as a man scaled 15 stories down a West Philadelphia high-rise during a fire Thursday night.
The fire started at a trash receptacle at an apartment building on 4445 Holden Street around 9:30 p.m., sending smoke throughout the high-rise. Residents were evacuated from the building as firefighters checked the floors to get people out.
As SkyForce10 flew over the scene, a man was spotted climbing down outside the building. While it took a little less than three minutes for the man to make his way down to safety, it felt like an eternity for those who watched.
"He climbed about 200 feet down on what looked like basically chain-link fencing and then the railings of each apartment building," SkyForce10 pilot Jeremy Haas said.
Once the man reached the ground he was greeted by waiting police officers before walking away. He did not appear to be hurt.
Residents waited in buses before being let back into their homes after firefighters had extinguished the flames. Four civilians and two police officers were taken to area hospitals for minor smoke inhalation, but all appeared stable, the Philadelphia Fire Department said.
Officials have not yet revealed what caused the blaze.