Strong winds rapidly spread a small rooftop fire across the 396-unit, 4 1/2 acre Axis Apartments project in the city's Montrose district on Tuesday. A construction worker was saved just before the blaze took down a portion of the roof and eventually much of the large structure.
The man paced back and forth on a window ledge as the fire burned around him before jumping down to a lower window ledge. A firefighter on a ladder quickly picked him up and took him to safety.
Karen Jones, who filmed the narrow escape on her cellphone, said she wasn't sure he would make it.
"When we saw his foot slip, it was like, oh God, he's going to fall! We thought he was going to be gone," Jones said.
All construction workers were accounted for, and no injuries were reported.
More than 200 emergency personnel fought the fire for 2.5 hours before bringing it under control, fire officials said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.