PITTSBURGH – A man called his mother when he was stuck in a high-rise during a fire Monday morning.

Hilda Lindsay told Channel 11’s Katherine Amenta her phone rang at 3 a.m., waking her out of a deep sleep.

It was her son John, gasping for air and begging for help.

“He said, ‘What am I going to do? I can’t get out, I can’t get down, what am I supposed to do?’ I said, ‘Johnny, calm down,'” Lindsay said.

Then she told him to get a wet towel and cover his head. During Channel 11’s Morning News, our crews could see him waving the flashlight from the ground.

Because of that, a firefighter did make it to John, but was overcome by smoke on the way out. “Once he got to the hospital, and I told him to turn on Channel 11, the fireman that was taking him down the steps, the firefighter fell over him and lost consciousness,” said Lindsay.

John, and that firefighter, were put in neighboring rooms at UPMC Mercy. Lindsay told Channel 11 she hopes this will lead to new conversations about fire sprinklers in city buildings.