NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There was a nerve-racking rescue in Harlem Tuesday as fire crews used a rare rope rescue to save a woman hanging out of the window of an apartment complex.
As CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reports, when fire crews rushed to the 17th floor of an apartment building at Lenox Terrace Tuesday afternoon, they jumped into action.
“There was a woman on the window sill, outside of her window. So I basically just stayed at the window and tried to calm her down and tell her not to jump,” said FDNY firefighter Brian Quinn.
“People over in the next building are yelling, telling the person to get out, get out,” one neighbor said.
“She was like, ‘I’m here, I’m out here,'” neighbor Kyra Walker said.
The woman was hanging from her 16th floor unit while a fire raged inside, terrified to go back inside. So instead, firefighter Quinn used rope to scale down the building to get to her.
“He was like Spider-Man, Superman, coming out that window, encasing her body to make her feel safe,” Walker said.
“If she did decide to jump or let go, I was holding her to the glass. I had one arm inside the window and I was holding onto the wall there and I had my other arm around her waist. And what was going through my mind – I just, I didn’t want to see anybody fall,” Quinn said.
After crews were able to extinguish the flames in her apartment, the woman eventually was brought back inside.
“I went into the mode right here, where she’s locked in, Brian went out the window, and then Tim vectored to bring up the slack,” said firefighter Mark Heingartner.
The FDNY commissioner says while rope rescues are extremely rare, crews are always ready to go.
“Heroism is what they’re all about,” Nigro said. “They train, they train, they train, so even something that’s so infrequent, they’re able to do just like that.”
But the firefighters don’t consider themselves heroes – just teammates who have each other’s backs.
“There’s a lot of adrenaline going through you … [I’m feeling] a little shaky, but it was, everyone did a good job. I trust these guys with my life,” Quinn said.
Watch Kiran Dhillon’s report —
The woman rescued was taken to the hospital but is expected to be OK.
Investigators don’t know the cause of the fire yet.
Inside, fans were blowing to help dry the soaked floor and air out the smell of smoke, which one neighbor says has happened before.
“I know there was a fire before, my sister said there was a fire four years ago,” Sienna Thomas told CBS2’s Cory James.
The commissioner said this was a good day because this rescue had a happy ending.
“My son is 12 years old, and he’s like, Mom, the firefighter got her mom, she’s saved now,” Walker said.
“I’m so thankful everyone’s OK. Everyone’s fine, thank goodness,” another neighbor said.
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