UK & World News
Houston Fire Survivor: I Shouldn't Even Be Here
A builder who jumped from the ledge of a burning building moments before part of it collapsed has thanked firefighters who came to his aid.
Curtis Reissig's dramatic escape from the inferno in Houston, Texas, was filmed and posted on YouTube by a worker in a neighbouring office.
He swung from the fifth floor to a fourth floor balcony before leaping onto a fire crew's ladder, seconds before a wall crashed to the ground.
"I was running away from the inferno, trying to save myself," Mr Reissig told NBC's Today show.
"These guys run to and into infernos to try to save other people. I shouldn't even be here. These guys, they deserve all the praise and accolades."
Mr Reissig said dropping to the downstairs balcony as flames raged behind him was "pretty much a survival instinct".
"That was the only option," he added.
The four-storey, 368-unit apartment complex was gutted by the blaze, the cause of which is under investigation.
Firefighter Dwayne Wyble, who was driving the truck used to rescue Mr Reissig, said he moved the ladder away quickly once the worker had climbed to safety.
"It surprised every one of us how quickly (the building) came down after they were on there," he said.
Captain Brad Hawthorne, who clambered up the ladder to reach Mr Reissig, described him as "very calm", adding: "I told him to hold on (because it was) going to be a little jerky on the way down."