Man scales down side of 19-story building to escape fire

A man in Philadelphia was able to make a harrowing escape from a fire by scaling down the side of a 19-story apartment building.

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The escape was captured on video by several local media outlets. The unnamed man made it down the side of the building in about three minutes, unharmed, WCAU-TV reported.

"He climbed about 200 feet down on what looked like basically chain link fencing and then the railings of each apartment building," said WCAU-TV helicopter pilot Jeremy Haas.

Why the man chose to evacuate the building in this manner is unclear.

Firefighters responded to the apartment building, known as Holden Tower, around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, WPVI-TV reported. The fire is believed to have started in a trash chute. The building was evacuated.

Four residents and three police officers were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, KYW-TV reported.

The fire was contained by 11 p.m. Residents were allowed back in the building early Friday.

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