Construction worker shares his story about daring escape during 4-alarm fire

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by MALINI BASU

KHOU 11 News Houston

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 26 at 5:11 PM

HOUSTON – A construction worker  who was rescued during Tuesday’s four-alarm fire at a Houston apartment complex  spoke to KHOU Wednesday about his daring escape.

“I said, ‘God, save, me get me out of here,” Curtis Reissig said.

That was what Reissig was thinking as the heat and flames rapidly closed in as he was trapped on a balcony with flames on one side and a five-story drop on the other.

“I was frustrated. I panicked. I thought I was going to die right here. I thought I was going to die right there,” he said.

As Houston firefighters moved toward him, Reissig waved desperately. And knew he couldn’t last much longer.

“Flames were getting closer... and hotter. I knew I had to do something. I swung down to the lower floor. The fireman saw me up there, I waved at him,” Reissig said.

He knew he had to jump.

“I wanted another swing but I know I didn’t have time, because the flames were getting so hot. I’m going to drop to my knees or butt, and just not stumble backwards,” he said.

Finally, firefighters were able to reach toward him with the ladder.

“They were right there, and yet the flames were growing too fast,” Reissig said.

He made the final leap and reached the ladder... just in the nick of time.

“I saw the front of the building collapse, fall off, then a surge of heat. 'Let’s go, go, go!'” he said.

He gives all the credit to the brave firefighters who saved him – they will be near and dear to Reissig for the rest of his life.

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