Published — Saturday 19 January 2013
Last update 19 January 2013 12:04 am
PORTLAND, Oregon: US firefighters cut through concrete and used a soapy lubricant to free a woman who fell and became stuck in a narrow opening between two buildings Wednesday. The woman spent about four hours in the tiny space. Broadcast footage of the rescue effort showed her emerging, clenching her fists and shouting, “Oh, my God!”
Firefighters said they hadn’t gotten a clear explanation of how the woman fell. Lt. Rich Chatman of the Portland fire department in Oregon said she had been seen smoking or walking on the roof of a two-story building. The woman was wedged about 4 feet (1.2 meters) above the ground before rescuers installed braces to support her. Firefighters turned on a portable heater to keep her warm in near-freezing temperatures and dropped an air bag into the opening to slightly spread the walls.
“She was in good spirits,” Chatman said. “We just tried to reassure her ... we weren’t going home without her.” After rescuers cut a window-size opening in the concrete wall, Chatman climbed in to help apply the soapy substance. The woman wiggled toward the hole as the rescue team pulled on her. She appeared to be in good health, fire Lt. Damon Simmons said. Her name was not released.