One of the big stories this past New Year’s Eve was the major fire that broke out at the 63-story Address Downtown Dubai hotel, which sits next to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
37-year-old photojournalist Dennis Mallari was one of the many people in the hotel when the blaze started. He found himself trapped on the 48th floor, where he had planned to shoot the city’s firework displays at midnight.
CNN reports that the fire started on the 20th floor and quickly flooded many of the floors above with smoke, preventing Mallari from leaving the building through ordinary exits.
Mallari began posting pleas on social media for help, writing: “I’m here on the 48th floor. Help”
Sorry for the announcement. Happy New Year to all.
Posted by Dennis Borja Mallari on Thursday, December 31, 2015
After nearly 2 hours in the burning building, Mallari decided to go through with his last resort plan for staying alive: rappelling down the side of the giant building. And as a photojournalist, Mallari documented the whole thing with a GoPro camera, holding the cable with his left hand and shooting photos and videos with his right:
Salamat sa belt, cable wire, sa civil defense, mga kaibigan at sa Dios.
Posted by Dennis Borja Mallari on Friday, January 1, 2016
As he was hanging off the edge, firefighters got onto his floor, found him, and saved his life by providing him with oxygen and leading him down the smoke-filled stairwell:
Once he was safely out of the hotel, Mallari posted a selfie on Facebook to let everyone know he was okay:
He then got back to work, shooting the fireworks show just a short distance away from the building he had just narrowly escaped from.