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Neighbors Come To Rescue In Washington Heights Apartment Fire

Good Samaritans Bring Ladder For Man Trapped In Apartment

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Good Samaritans helped rescue a man Monday afternoon when a fire broke out in a Washington Heights apartment building.

As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, the neighbors were seen on the cell phone video working together frantically to save the life of the unidentified man.

Roscindo Lopez, the superintendent of the building next door, heard the man’s desperate cries.

“And I hear it, ‘Help me! Help me! Please help me!” Lopez said.

Lopez, along with Guardencio Portillo, rushed over quickly and jumped into action.

“I’m thinking I need to do something,” Lopez said.

Without hesitation, one of the rescuers climbed dangerously over the railing in an effort to reach the trapped man.

But that was when he climbed out of the apartment, clinging to the side of the building as thick, black smoke poured out of the window.

“I say, ’Please, please, please – wait, wait, wait, wait,’” Lopez said.

The quick-thinking men used Lopez’s ladder to reach the victim, turning it sideways and creating a makeshift platform between the fire escape and the burning apartment.

Just as the men made it safely across the ladder, firefighters arrived.

Even after the daring rescue to save a stranger’s life, Lopez and Portillo humbly said they are not heroes.

Portillo said he did not think twice about helping the man out.

“Most importantly, he’s good, the guy,” added Lopez.

Firefighters officials said the man trapped in the fire was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and is expected to recover.

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