UK & World News

  • 26 March 2014, 17:31

Houston Apartments Gutted By Huge Fire

Amazing video has emerged of the moment a construction worker is plucked to safety moments before a burning apartment block collapsed.

Hundreds of apartments at the block in Houston were destroyed by the huge fire.

Some 200 firefighters struggled to bring the blaze under control as wind gusts of 20mph caused it to spread quickly.

Footage shot from a neighbouring office, posted on YouTube by worker Karen Jones, captured the moments just before part of the block collapsed, narrowly missing the worker who had been lifted off a third-floor balcony.

The worker, who is thought to have been in the burning building because it was still being built, had been forced to seek shelter on the balcony as the fire raged inside.

As the fire spread, he had to jump down to a lower balcony to escape the heat.

But then, just as he leapt on to afire crew's ladder, which had been extended from a truck on the ground, a wall fell down from above, missing him and his rescuer by inches.

The four-storey, 368-unit complex was gutted by the blaze.

There were no other reported injuries. The construction worker was the only one who had to be rescued by emergency services.

Black, billowing smoke and flames from the blaze could be seen from several miles away.

Mark Ivy, an employee at Stages Repertory Theatre, told the Houston Chronicle that he could feel the heat several blocks away.

"We saw the flames jump (from the complex under construction) to the apartments where people are living," he said.

Witness Chris Williamson told the paper he heard the structure of the building bend from the intense heat.

"I could hear metal buckling inside the building," he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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