A professional photographer who was stuck in the middle of a hotel fire on New Year’s Eve managed to capture the chaotic scene on video while dangling from a rope 48 stories above ground.
Dennis Borja Mallari, who was taking photos of fireworks at a nearby New Year`s Eve celebration, was stationed on the 48th floor of The Address, a 63-storey luxury hotel.
“I hesitated from running to the exit because of the smoke. I was afraid I’d get knocked out by the smoke, lose my phone signal or will encounter a fire along the way, so I started texting photographer friends who were on the ground and asked them to tell the Civil Defense people that I’m trapped at the 48th floor,” the Philippines native told the Manila Times.
WATCH: More on the New Year’s Eve fire
The newspaper said he was concerned that he would succumb to smoke inhalation so he tied himself off with a rope from a nearby window-washing station and hung off the station.
Mallari clutched the rope with one hand while maintaining contact with friends and authorities on the ground with the other hand.
With one hand, Mallari held onto to the rope and with the other he used his phone to contact his wife and colleagues for help.
The video he posted on his Facebook account shows the flames got within 10 metres of his location.
“One hour, then that’s it, I’m dead,” he said, explaining what was going through his mind at the time.
A dispatcher contacted him via telephone and attempted to keep him calm.
“I was telling them I hoped to survive and see my wife,” Mallari told the Manila Times.
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