Roofer rescued from top of building after crashing into window in Kendall

Man was trapped on fourth story of building, authorities say

By Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

KENDALL, Fla. - A roofer was rescued from the top of an office building in Kendall Thursday after he crashed into a window, authorities said.

Sky 10 was above the four-story building at 11430 N. Kendall Drive just before noon as police and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials worked to get the man to safety.

According to authorities, the man was working on the roof of the building when he fell against a window on the fourth floor, breaking the glass.

"We heard a crash and shattering of glass. So, everybody ran and he was hanging by a rope," witness Daisy Gomez said.

Gomez and Janell Vega were in the office he crashed through. They said employees inside the office jumped into action to try to help the man.

"He was very nervous," Vega said. "He had his eyes closed and then one of the other girls from the office helped kick out the rest of the window."

Authorities said the worker, who is employed by Empire Roofing, was wearing all of his safety gear and his colleagues made sure the harness rope was secure as they waited for help. 

Witnesses said the man's co-worker saved his life. 

"He was the guy holding onto this gentleman," Lino Diaz de Villegas said. "He must have been like half his size, but he was holding onto him the whole time. He didn't let go, and finally cops arrived and were able to help him."

Although he was still in his harness when Sky 10 was above the scene, authorities could be seen holding onto him through the crashed out window.

Witnesses said the worker was pulled partially through the window and a second safety harness was attached to him. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials soon arrived in a bucket truck to bring the worker back down to safety. Firefighters cut the harness once the worker was safely in the bucket.

"This guy is very lucky to have support from his crew that was able to hold onto him until we got there," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Jean Joseph said. 

The worker was then placed on a gurney and placed in an awaiting Fire Rescue truck before being transported to Baptist Hospital. 

Paramedics said it appears the man suffered a broken arm. 

"I think he was very happy, let's just say, to be alive," Vega said. "I think there was a point there where he did not think that he was going to make it."

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