Window washers rescued from dangling scaffold outside downtown Houston's tallest skyscraper

ByMarla Carter KTRK logo
Monday, January 11, 2016

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Two workers were pulled through an open 71st floor window to safety after the scaffolding they were working on fell on one side, dangling precariously outside Houston's tallest skyscraper.

People from surrounding buildings and on the streets below watched the 45 minutes of agony.

"I was just staring outside, staring up. The streets were filled with people, wanting to know what's going to happen," said Amy Lafargue, who watched from across the street.

"Once word kind of got out, everybody kind of flocked to the window to catch a view of what was going on to see the action," said Chris Smock, a witness.

Emergency personnel blocked off the streets.

"When you're dealing with a high angle rescue, anything can fall down, pieces of equipment, glass anything," said Kenyatta Parker with the Houston Fire Department.

After that, firefighters went into action.

"We tried to secure the scaffolding as much as possible," said Parker.

According to the Houston Fire Department, the workers were at the 71st floor when they experienced a motor malfunction and radioed for help. HFD High Angle Rescue Teams arrived. There were also windows glaziers on scene and a mechanic from the window washing company. HFD was able to establish contact with the two men on the scaffold they were brought in through a 71st floor window after the window was removed by the two glaziers. There were no injuries.

The window washing company is Jobs Building Service. They told us the window washers do train for situations like this and they're glad everyone is OK. We reached out to the owner of the company who has not returned our phone calls.

JPMorgan Chase Tower downtown Houston's tallest building, at 75 stories (1,049 feet) tall. That's just shy of three and a half football fields.