HOUSTON - Dramatic cellphone video captured the rescue of a worker Tuesday afternoon on the upper floors of a Texas building engulfed in flames.
Frantically waving at rescuers, the worker eventually jumped to the balcony below to escape the flames.
Houston firefighters were then able to rescue him using a ladder. Senior Cpt. Brad Hawthorne was on the edge of that ladder and helped save the worker.
"I said, alright...come on...he had to make a leap. He kind of jumped and grabbed on. I said hold on!" said Hawthorne. "Within a couple of seconds the roof caved in -- the whole fifth floor went out."
Hawthorne admits at that moment his adrenaline was pumping.
"It was pretty hairy. Just the noise from the fire, the cracking and popping of all the wood. It was pretty loud," said Hawthorne.
The captain says this rescue wouldn't have been possible without help from his coworkers at station 18.
Dwayne Wyble was behind the wheel of the ladder truck. It was his job to put it in the perfect position for a safe rescue.
They all admit this fire was intense, and one of the worst they've seen.
"You just don't see five floors burning all at once," said Wyble. "This is one of the fastest growing fires I've ever seen. It ran the whole roof of the whole building so fast. Seconds count."
The construction workers said they were doing stucco work on some of the walls when the fire suddenly started.
Courtesy: KPRC, NBC News Channel