HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It was the breath-taking rescue caught on camera; the seemingly calm construction worker being pulled to safety as a massive fire raged behind him.
And now, the day after his dramatic rescue, that construction worker is opening up about those moments on the ledge and once he knew he was safe.
In our exclusive interview with Curtis Reissig Wednesday morning, he talked to us about why he raced up to that burning roof yesterday. And the moment he thought he was going to die.
Reissig was on a balcony five stories above the ground. He said the heat was so intense that he felt his skin burning. He told us he made a life and death decision to fall to the balcony below and he said he only had one swing to get it right.
And he did.
That fire truck ladder closed in to rescue him. He told us it couldn't get to him soon enough.
Here's what he said about the moments before that rescue. He said he didn't know how bad that fire was, but soon realized it when he was racing through the smoke-filled building, looking for a way out.
"It's burning my eyes, my throat. I can't breathe and I can't hardly see anything," said Reissig. "I could see a window. I went to that window. Trying to open that window in a panic. I couldn't get the thing open. Smoke was getting heavier, just trying to get some air. I said I have to get some air. At that point, I said, I'm going to die right here. I said, 'God, you have to help me. You got to help me out here.'"
And that's when he said he found that balcony below.
Coming up on Eyewitness News at 4pm, we'll tell you about a phone call that Reissig received that he said also saved his life, as well as more on this exclusive one-on-one interview.
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