An elderly woman, clinging to life, is rescued from an elevator on Christmas morning. She and her husband had been trapped inside for over an hour when the fire department arrived. She was on her way to the 24/7 Urgent Care clinic on the second story of the building.
Red tape blocks access to an elevator where a woman could have lost her life. Fresno Firefighters got a call that someone was trapped inside. Only the night before, there was a false alarm at the same place.
"When the fire department got there they couldn't make contact with that individual so they really weren't sure if there was someone in there or not," said Chuck Tobias, Battalion Chief.
To be safe, firefighters called for a truck with special tools and pried open the doors. Inside, they found a woman who was bleeding and had collapsed.
"Sick and stuck in an elevator for that period of time, I don't think she was feeling that good to begin with. She was barely moving anyway on her own," said Melissa Shields, who witnessed the rescue.
Firefighters say elevator rescues are dangerous and rare. Typically an elevator company would come out to help, but on Christmas, it would have taken too long to wait for workers.
"When an elevator is stuck between floors, that can shift at any time. People have lost limbs or lives by an elevator's sudden movement, including firefighters," said Tobias.
As for the Christmas miracle on Tuesday, a responding firefighter says it's all in a days work.
"We're just doing our job. It's what we train to do and it's just an everyday deal," said Robert Garcia.
The Fresno Fire Department says the woman was taken to the hospital and has survived this ordeal.