He apparently saw one way to escape. And so a man grasped the side of a 19-story high-rise that had caught fire in Philadelphia on Thursday and started descending. The unidentified man, spotted by news helicopters, climbed down 15 stories to reach the ground in a little less than three minutes, though "it felt like an eternity for those who watched," reports NBC Philadelphia. A witness said the man appeared to grip the units' railings and what looked like "chain-link fencing" as he made his way down. He walked away, seemingly uninjured.
Not so lucky were four residents and three firefighters who suffered smoke inhalation and/or heat exhaustion in the blaze that erupted at Holden Tower around 9:30pm. Firefighters arrived to find smoke on all 19 floors. WPVI describes "a fire in the lower part of the trash chute from the third floor down." It was brought under control by 11pm as firefighters flooded the chute with water. Evacuated residents have since returned to the building. (Read more fire stories.)