Terror on the Tower: Oklahoma City Fire Department discusses dramatic rescue

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Terrifying moments unfolding at the top of the Devon Tower.

Two window-washers were stuck in their cradle at the top of the tower while the wind repeatedly smashed them into the Devon Tower.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department says they actually do some training at the Devon Tower, so they were prepared to handle it.

But, the wind made the rescue a little difficult.

“What address do you need the fire department,” said the dispatcher.

“It`s the Devon Energy Tower,” said the 9-1-1 caller. “The big contraption that they used to clean the windows, the big platform. It`s swinging around. I think it broke a window.”

That call coming in as two workers washing windows swung 50 stories in the air.

Some watched it unfold on their way into downtown for work.

“We were terrified just watching it, much less imagining being one of the two guys,” said Lisa Chronister.

“Doesn`t look like a lot of fun,” said Greg Blackburn, a witness.

As the Oklahoma City Fire Department and Devon Energy employees worked their way to the roof, Oklahoma City Police blocked off roads as glass from the broken windows fell about 900 feet to the ground.

“It was a very tense and scary situation,” said Benny Fulkerson, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

The wind pushing the cradle back and forth, making it hard for firefighters to throw the two men inside a rope to stop the swinging.

“The first thing we could think of, is we`ve got to get a rope to it and had to get it secured, but once it was secured, it was easy as any other rescue,” said Major Tim Larman, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Everyone working quickly as the window washers were fearful and anxious.

“One of the workers in there was trying to work to communicate with us and he was excited, the other one was very calm and just holding on,” said Deputy Chief Mike Walker, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

After moving the crane to center the cradle over the roof, they lowered the cables and attached the rope to bring them in.

“This is not an event that you can go out and train specifically for,” said Chief Richard Kelley. “This is an event that we have to train in multiple disciplines to be prepared for.”

A tense rescue done in just 45 minutes, something Chief Kelley is proud of.

“I say they`re the best firefighters in the nation and this is another example of how they want to step forward, do their job and do the best they can to serve our community,” said Chief Kelley.

The fire department says there were no injuries reported.

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