After NYC Blast, Good Samaritan to the Rescue
Video shows Austin Branda helping woman off fire escape
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2015 1:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – After this week's explosion in New York City's East Village, stories emerged about New Yorkers going above and beyond to lend a hand. But one in particular generated a lot of interest—that of a Good Samaritan who climbed a fire escape to help a woman who was having trouble getting down. You can see a quick video here, and DNA Info catches up with the Good Samaritan himself, a 45-year-old named Austin Branda. He was practicing his drums in his apartment across the street when the explosion literally knocked him out of his seat. After heading outside, he spotted the woman struggling to get her ladder to come down. Branda grabbed a chair from a restaurant and was about to try to jump up to grab the ladder's lower rung when the woman finally got it to release.

At that point, he climbed up and guided her down. "I was body-guarding her against the railing, so if she fell, I’d catch her," he says, adding that she was physically unhurt but seemed to be in shock. A few moments later, another man, unidentified, climbed up the ladder looking for more people who might need help, reports CBS New York. He came down when all seemed clear, and flames spread to the building soon after. Branda tells DNA Info that when the explosion occurred, he immediately recalled his father's reaction during an explosion at a dry cleaners when he was a kid. His dad didn't hesitate, grabbing towels and ice and running to help, and Branda did the same. (Two men remain missing after the blast.)