Firefighters Rappel From Roof to Save People From Harlem Blaze

Dramatic aerial video shows firefighters using rope to rappel down and rescue several people as a fire tore through an apartment building in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City on Friday, February 23.

The footage was released by NYPD’s aviation unit, which said it helped “direct firefighters to victims dangling from windows.”

At least 18 people were treated for injuries, including one person who later died in a hospital, and four people who were in critical condition, according to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens told media that crews responded to the blaze at 2 St. Nicholas Place around 2:15 pm, and found “numerous people on the fire escape” and “heavy smoke” on the building’s upper floors.

Firefighters then spotted people hanging out windows on the fifth floor over a side alley. FDNY members used a “life-saving rope” to abseil off the roof and lift three victims to safety, he said.

“We have usually one of these a year or two, this was three at one fire. A very heroic action," Hodgens added. Credit: NYPD via Storyful

Video transcript