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Construction worker speaks out after escaping apartment fire

Construction worker Curtis Reissig speaks out about his narrow escape from an apartment fire in Houston.
March 27, 2014 6:12:01 AM PDT
Construction worker Curtis Reissig found himself surrounded by flames, trapped by an inferno blazing inside a Houston apartment complex. He knew he would need to take action to get himself out or it might be the end.

"I just said, 'I'm going to die right here... God, you got to help me,'" Reissig said.

Desperate, he crawled onto a balcony.

Reissig said he thought: "The only choice I have to survive is to go ahead and drop down to the patio below."

Reissig swung, barely making it to the patio below. Then, Fire Capt. Brad Hawthorne rode in on his fire truck ladder. But it was 2 feet short, forcing Reissig to make another leap.

Spectators held their breath.

"Hell, yes! Oh, thank Jesus. Thank you God," they exclaimed, as Reissig landed safely on the ladder.

Hawthorne told him to hang on. As the pair pulled away, part of the top floor of the building - near where Reissig stood moments before - collapsed.

The entire incident was captured on video.

Reissig, 56, suffered minor burns to his hand and face in Tuesday's fire, which demolished the $50 million luxury apartment complex. No other injuries were reported.

His wife Kim Reissig calls the firefighters the heroes of the day.

"Thanks to God and the firefighters (that) here he (my husband) is," Kim Reissig said.

The cause of the fire was still unknown Wednesday and is under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.