A team of strangers became instant heroes Monday when they came to the rescue of a worker caught in a building fire in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood.
The man was reportedly refinishing floors in a fifth-floor apartment when the room burst into flames. As he straddled a windowsill, neighbors clamored to help.
Victor Peralta told ABC station WABC-TV in New York that the man looked like he was about to jump.
"He was panicked," Peralta said. "I told him, 'Hold on. Don't do it.'"
Rosendo Lopez, a building super, brought a ladder to the fire escape and after the worker made his way to a fourth-floor window directly below, a group of men created a bridge with the ladder and helped him across.
"Soon as they got close enough to grab … we just tackled him on to the fire escape," Frank Gonzalez said.