Video shows the 18-year-old woman and 13-year-old boy shimmying down the pole and scaling the building as neighbors watched in horror and flames raged out of a window above their heads.
The blaze broke out Thursday morning inside a public housing project in the city's East Village neighborhood.
A 32-year-old man was killed, and a 46-year-old woman was critically injured. The two escaping teens were treated for burns and smoke inhalation but survived, and four others suffered minor injuries.
Multiple electric bicycles were found inside the apartment where the fire originated, and fire marshals are looking into the possibility that they sparked the fire. Residents said they heard a loud explosion before the building caught fire.
Neighbor Tashaka Owens said she believes the teenagers would not have escaped the building alive if it wasn't for that exterior pole.
"They were about to jump out the window, but everyone kept telling them, 'Hold on! Hold on!' So when they held on, they got onto the side of the pole, and they started sliding down ... and those kids, they made it down," she said.