Man climbs down side of 19-storey building to escape fire

Philadelphia resident scales down 19-storey building to escape fire.

A man climbed several floors down the outside of a 19-storey building in Philadelphia to escape a fire that injured four residents and three police officers.

The fire at the Holden Tower apparently began in a rubbish chute, causing flames to shoot out and spread heavy smoke to all floors of the high-rise.

Firefighters responded quickly and took a water line to the fourth-floor chute and flooded it. They also stretched the line to the 15th floor and flooded the bin chute from there as an extra safety measure, authorities said.

The firefighters had the blaze under control in about an hour. All residents were able to escape the building, with some who have mobility issues being carried out by other residents.

Emergency responders also went to some individual flats to ensure residents had got out safely.

Residents were allowed to return to the building later in the evening.

The man who scaled down the building did not appear to be injured. His name and further information about him was not disclosed.

The injured residents and officers were treated for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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