A construction security guard is being hailed a hero after risking his life to alert residents in a New York City building to a massive fire that broke in the middle of the night.
Willie Robinson was working security at a construction site on the Upper East Side when he saw flames bursting through the back of the building, according to NBC New York.
Shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday, Robinson called 911 before risking his life by forcing his way into the flame and smoke-ridden building to help the sleeping residents inside.
“I banged on every door that I could bang on to get everybody out,” Robinson said, adding that kept his eyes closed in order to get most of the people out of the building.
Despite his quick-thinking actions, Robinson couldn’t get to the fifth floor, where flames had spread from the floor below and were now shooting through the roof.
“I kind of got a little overwhelmed because I couldn’t get the people from the top floor out,” he said. “So, I just ran from the building and let the fire department do their thing.”
Crazy fire on upper east side pic.twitter.com/Y67PfbxjMC
— NY guy (@KeithLessner) October 27, 2016
— Jamie Pollack (@jamiesharkangel) October 27, 2016
— Timmy David NYC (@TimmyDavidNYC) October 27, 2016
Tales of the firefighters’ bravery began to emerge as they gained control of the blaze. One firefighter even repelled on a rope to save a resident hanging from the fourth floor of the building, according to WABC. The rope caught fire before breaking soon after the firefighter and the man he saved hit the ground.
One person died on the scene of the fire, and another person was critically injured. Several more were treated for minor injuries such as smoke inhalation. The 6-alarm fire was so devastating that neighboring buildings were forced to evacuate as well.