Philadelphia Man Escapes Fire By Climbing Down Side of 19-Story Building, Spider-Man Style

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Seven people were reportedly injured after a fire broke out in a West Philadelphia apartment building Thursday night, and one man managed to escape the blaze by free-climbing down the side of the building, reports say.

The blaze broke out at the Holden Tower on Holden Street around 9:28 p.m. Thursday night. Fire officials received “multiple calls” about the incident, a Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson tells PEOPLE. The spokesperson says callers reported “heavy smoke” and residents “trapped in apartments on multiple floors.”

But one man didn’t wait for rescue. Footage showed him in a green shirt and jeans as he scaled 15 stories down the high-rise building.

“He climbed about 200 feet down on what looked like basically chain-link fencing and then the railings of each apartment building,” said NBC 10 pilot Jeremy Haas.

It took just minutes for the man to reach the sidewalk, and he did not appear to be injured, NBC 10 reported. He was greeted by police officers at the bottom.

The man’s identity has not been made public.

The fire is believed to have started in the building’s trash chute, WPVI reported. Residents were evacuated from the building and the fire was under control by 10:56 p.m., according to WPVI.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=_Tg1KJBev5Q

“We did make some forcible entry on some units,” Philadelphia Fire Assistant Chief Harry Bannan said, according to the station. “We received calls from our fire communication center and fire department units. We went to those apartments to check on those residents.”

Four residents were treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, according to the Associated Press. The police spokesperson says three officers were taken to local hospitals where they were treated for smoke inhalation and released.

Firefighters used a water line to flood the trash chute twice, the AP reported. SEPTA provided buses to take residents to a cool place while firefighters worked at the building.

Residents were able to return to the building later that night, according to the AP.


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