Construction worker rescued in 5-alarm Montrose fire tells story

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The JLB construction worker trapped by a raging inferno on the top floor of a five-story apartment building in the Montrose area wasn't sure he was going to make it out alive.

"I said, 'I'm going to die right here.' I said, 'God, you've got to save me. You've got to get me out of here,'" Curtis Reissig said.

Help was close, but Reissig began waving his arms because the flames were getting hotter and closer. He knew he had to act quickly.

With no where else to go, he dropped to the fourth-floor patio.

"The flames were getting so hot. I took one swing and said I'm going to drop to my feet or butt or my knees and my butt, just when I hit I'm not going to stumble backward," Reissig said.

Capt. Brad Hawthorn was at the top of a fire truck ladder and positioned himself toward Reissig as the inferno inched closer and closer. Reissig jumped onto the ladder and took that leap of faith just in the nick of time because seconds later the entire front of the building collapsed.

Reissig says he felt a giant surge of heat.

"I was like,'Let's go. Let's get out of here. Get us down from here,'" said Reissig. "They are the heroes. I'm just a guy who was caught in a bad situation trying to escape."

He twisted his ankle and has some minor burns on his hand and face.

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