Nightly News   |  September 17, 2013

Building worker scales ladder to save man from ferocious fire

Thanks to the heroic efforts of Galdencio Portio, a man survived a fast-moving fire that had trapped him inside the building where he was doing construction. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, war heroes are recognized by their country for those moments when all appears lost. those moments when it is then or nowhere else and they find the courage to act with complete disregard for their safety. on an otherwise quiet street in new york city yesterday there was one of those moments. and there was one of those people who just had to act. and tonight, another man is alive because of it. he was a construction worker working alone in an empty apartment. something sparked a fire and it was moving fast and it was clear as a neighbor recorded video from across the street, it was clear he couldn't last long in that window. it was getting hot and there was too much smoke. down below, someone gets a ladder, a potential life line to that window. but it seems to take forever. also below, a city firefighter is visible, part of the first unit to arrive with others on the way. on the fire escape across the way, a building worker named portio briefly considers perching on a window sill to save the desperate man, who then decides when the smoke gets too hot, he must get out. that is when things start to move quickly. portio walks four stories above ground and saves the man, the ladder holds as the two men hold onto each other. and moments later when we see flames visible in the window, it is clear we have just witnessed an act of bravery we would all like to think we would be capable of in that same moment. incredible, the man who was rescued was hospitalized. but is expected to recover. portio denies he is a hero, but a lot of new yorkers would beg to differ . that is