Brave teens climb out 4th floor window of burning building, grab onto pipe (video)

Originally published at: Brave teens climb out 4th floor window of burning building, grab onto pipe (video) | Boing Boing

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My pipe climbing days are over, but those guys made it look easy.

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If I lived in anything over 2 stories I’d have an emergency descent kit stored and anchored right by the window. These range from ladders to rope/harness setups.
image

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videos that end too soon

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I’m glad you posted that. My wife has been asking me to buy a fire ladder because our bedroom is on the second floor Your post reminded me and prompted me to pull the trigger on this one.

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That look like a good one @MBrody.
Though it carries a degree of risk - you should try it out. Some ladders appear to keep the rungs flush with the exterior wall - which make descending tricky as you can’t get your feet in past the toes. I think the good ones leave a few inches, keeping the ladder free hanging.

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Those guys will have a story to tell for the rest of their lives and their friends are all gonna be like yeah sure you did. But good for them, that took some guts to do in the genuine heat of the moment. Good job kids.

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These are a good idea for wood frame or non-sprinklered buildings where a fire can spread really quickly.
I ran a risk assessment on using one of those ladders and determined that it would be more hazardous to use one (especially for my wife that’s terrified of heights and not very fit) than to either stay in our suite or use the concrete stairwell right beside our entrance door. We’re only 5 floors up in a concrete building, sprinklered, have a 45 minute fire rated front door and the nearest fire station is less than 100 feet away.

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If possible, perhaps a good try-out could be safely achieved by fully deploying it from your 2nd floor window then standing on the last rung that’s still hanging above the ground. If it fails, the tester shouldn’t have far to fall. (And, if it fails, watch for any parts that may come down on you.) Then there’s “how” to climb down!

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Yeah. I’m on the 9th floor. I bought a fire/smoke escape helmet with carbon monoxide filter good for 20 minutes & I have some fireplace gloves. Long leather jacket - about as safe as I can get.

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Yikes! That is terrifying!

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I used to live in a three-story house with long ropes in each of the rooms on the top floor. In the event of a fire, you’d tie one end of the rope to a radiator and rappel out a window to safety. At least that was the theory; thankfully I never had to test it.

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Due to the yellow color of the pipe, I think that is the natural gas main, probably running to the rooftop to feed heating units. It looks to be quite large, 3" or 4". The bank of grey pipes to the left side would be electrical conduits, with boxes placed to facilitate pulling wire through the installed conduits.

They are lucky that the placement of what appears to be a unistrut anchor holding the pipes to the building was at the right height to act as a foot rest for the initial escape from the window. Depending on the thickness of the strut, the teens would have an inch or two of space between the pipe and the building to get their hands behind the pipe for climbing. The strut rails look to be placed once per floor, so probably 10 feet apart.

If I am right about the pipe being a gas main, it would be made of quite thick steel pipe, and would easily support their weight, but the smooth sides of the pipe would make climbing down a tricky feat.

A marvelous escape from the jaws of death.

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Apparently the fire was started with an e-bike battery that was being charged along with eight other batteries.

A neighbor told the New York Daily News that the victim repaired e-bikes. The FDNY found seven e-bikes in the apartment. FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said, “Last year we had 44 fires and no deaths, this year we have had 93 fires, more than 70 injuries and now four deaths caused by lithium-ion battery fires.”

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A friend works on wind turbines. He told me that fire codes mean the turbine has to have at least two points of egress. One is “back down the ladder”. The other is “clip the emergency escape reel to your chest harness and jump out the back of the turbine”. They have to do regular drills. I’m not sure whether that sounds more thrilling or terrifying.

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Honestly don’t matter; there’s no way in hell you’d find me up one of those things!
:scream:

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