POSTED: Monday, October 1, 2012 - 10:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 1, 2012 - 10:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A New York City man is feeling grateful after his neighbors helped him escape a life threatening apartment fire.
72-year-old Ronnie Poe is nursing a bruised heel, but his heart is full of praise and appreciation for longtime neighbors who stood underneath his Bronx apartment thursday afternoon and caught him when he jumped to escape flames engulfing his kitchen.
The chaos started when he was cooking and a fire erupted.
Trapped in his bedroom, Poe went for the only available exit...the window.
Alaam Thomas was amongst the group that scrambled to rescue their neighbor, urging him to grab onto a cable wire and channel his former training in the military.
"We all got together and just said 'Jump.' And he caught onto the wire and we said 'Hold onto the wire. You're a paratrooper. You can make the jump,'" Thomas recalls.
"Grabbed the cable wire with this hand, then I grabbed it with this hand. When I came down it said 'snap snap snap snap' off the wall. That's when I came down. That's
when they caught me," Poe says.
Poe, a firefighter and a third person were treated at the scene for minor injuries.