PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — When Providence firefighter Stanley Carmichael saw a man standing on the second-floor balcony of his burning home, he knew he had to act quickly.
Carmichael was one of several firefighters who rushed to the Rhodes Street home Saturday night.
When he arrived, Carmichael saw flames shooting from the roof and smoke filling the night sky. He then noticed the man, who didn’t have time to get dressed, trapped on the balcony.
Carmichael jumped into action grabbed a ladder and made his way up to the balcony.
“When I first grabbed him, I let him know that it was OK,” Carmichael recalled. “I said ‘I will get you down.'”
“I tried to actually talk to him so he could walk down with me,” he continued. “I could see he wasn’t too strong on his feet, so I knew at that time I was going to have to help him down.”
The rescue was caught on camera by someone who lived nearby. In the video, Carmichael can be seen helping the man down the ladder and away from the heat of the flames.
“His right foot actually went down the ladder,” he said. “I’m leaning back to get his leg out of the rung, and that happened a couple of times on the way down.”
Carmichael tells 12 News this rescue was a first for him, and he’s been on the job for nine years. He credited his fellow firefighters for supporting the ladder they were on as they made their way down.
“I actually felt comfortable as I could see everyone else around me doing what needed to be done,” Carmichael said. “I’m happy we were able to help him and get him out.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time. The American Red Cross is assisting the man, who was the only person living there.