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British firefighters rescue man from 'towering inferno' in dramatic operation

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Firefighters used a crane to rescue a man from a raging inferno atop an office building Thursday in the British city of Reading, lifting him beyond the reach of the flames just in time.

Video of the incident shows firefighters from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service lowering a crane cage onto the rooftop where flames are about to engulf the man. He initially struggles to get a hold of the cage before he is able to climb aboard and is winched upward and away.

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The South Central Ambulance Service confirmed on social media that it had taken two people from the scene to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

"Fortunately, neither patient was in a serious condition and all other persons on-site have been accounted for by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Thames Valley Police."

The fire department said more than 50 firefighters were continuing to tackle the blaze which broke out in Station Hill in the center of the city, 44 miles west of London, and appealed to people to help emergency services by staying away from the area.

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"If you live in the surrounding area, please keep windows closed and stay indoors. Further updates will be provided shortly," the department said in a post on X.

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