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Man falls five floors to escape fire

A 74-YEAR-OLD man was seriously injured after falling from his fifth-floor Minhang District apartment trying to escape a fire yesterday, Youth Daily reported today.

Witnesses said they saw the old man, nearly enveloped by smoke and flames, climb on to a balcony ledge and cry for help at 2:45pm.

As flames spread around him he hung onto a steel clothes rack on the balcony. Below neighbors called on him to hang on and rushed to grab mattresses to set on the ground to help break his fall. But the man lost his grip and fell onto a stainless steel roof on the first floor.

He was rushed to Minhang District Central Hospital where he was reported to have broken thighbones and ribs but was not in a critical condition.

Firemen saved a couple on the sixth floor in the same building. The contents of the old man's room were destroyed. The fire might have been caused by the old man burning joss sticks for the Qingming Festival, or tomb-sweeping day, according to neighbors.


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