Are you feeling underwhelmed by your Tuesday? Was your bus late and did your coffee slosh out from under the lid and all over your hand? Yeah. Well. At least you weren't this guy, climbing from the window of a burning Washington Heights apartment onto the world's most precariously placed ladder.
The video begins with a man straddled on a fifth-floor ledge—a worker doing construction in an empty 172nd Street apartment. Smoke pours from the window. Neighbors on the fire escape adjacent are waving a ladder in the man's direction, but the ladder is not at all secure and looks quite plainly like a terrible option. The man on the ledge is between a rock and a hard place, or rather, a fire and a janky-ass ladder place. The neighbors are visibly distressed at their shortcomings as ladder-wielders. They retract the ladder. The smoke billows harder. There is lots of shouting.
Around the 1:33 minute mark, the camera pans to the ground, where a firefighter is standing. What the hell is he doing down there? GET THAT GUY OUT OF THE WINDOW.
The shouting grows more frantic as the smoke billows harder. The man, all but engulfed in smoke, lurches from the window. He's getting out of that burning building, whether there's a ladder to catch him or not. Seeing this, the neighbors grab the ladder and rest it flat on the ledge below the man. Things can't possibly get any worse than they are at 2:22, as the man clings to his own open window, legs curled beneath him, uncertain of what's below.
At this point, a neighbor—the real hero in this saga—comes forward, swinging down from an above fire escape and marching fearlessly across the ladder. He grabs the man, still clinging to his ledge, and guides him toward it. His feet connect. He's free! Onlookers erupt in cheers. But it's not over yet—both the man and his rescuer must navigate back across the shaky ladder.
By this time, firefighters have gotten around to working their way up the fire escape. "You guys are late, beat it!" one of the videographers shouts. The firefighter arrives at the landing just in time to pluck the man and his rescuer from the shaky ladder.
Then the film ends. The man is safe. Everyone is safe. But yeah, bummer about your coffee dribble.