Full interview: Worker on dramatic rescue from 5-alarm fire

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by Malini Basu / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 5:57 PM

HOUSTON – A construction worker, who was rescued during Tuesday’s five-alarm fire at an apartment complex, spoke to KHOU 11 News 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.

WATCH HERE: Reissig's daring escape

“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, knowing 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.

Then he thought he would have 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.

PHOTOS: The aftermath of five-alarm fire

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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