Dramatic Rescue: Window Washers Plucked From High-Rise - NBC New York
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Dramatic Rescue: Window Washers Plucked From High-Rise

Firefighters' training pays off: two men hoisted to safety

Window Washers Rescued from Oakland High-Rise

Two window washers were plucked from the side of a downtown Oakland high-rise in a dramatic rescue Thursday, an hour after an equipment malfunction left them stranded almost 20 stories up. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014)

Two window washers were plucked from the side of a downtown Oakland high-rise in a dramatic rescue Thursday, an hour after an equipment malfunction left them stranded almost 20 stories up.

NBC Bay Area's chopper flew over Oakland City Center, at 1111 Broadway, a 24-story structure near 11th Street, capturing images of a rescue that conjured up images of Spider-Man. A firefighter rappelled down the glass exterior and hoisted the workers into a basket, as emergency crews peered over the roof of the structure.

Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Coy Justice said the department had trained for something like this, but never had to deal with such a real-life operation.

Firefighter Brian Fukuhara was one of the crew members who actually rescued the workers. "They were very thankful," he said.

A security officer said the men got stuck because of either a motor or cable problem with their equipment. The worker did not want to be named. The men got stuck at about 10:48 a.m.

Attorney Neal Parish was inside the building at the time, when firefighters told him the workers got stuck somewhere between the 19th and 20th floors. Parish went into a colleague's office and snapped a photo. "I was just lucky on the timing," he said.

Police shut down Broadway between 11th and 12th streets while first responders figure out how to rescue the men.

The high-profile high-rise is home to many prominent law firms, including Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP, DeHay & Ellison, and other corporate tenants including Merrill Lynch and HNTB.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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