Firefighters rescue woman trapped between two buildings

Firefighters rescue woman trapped between two buildings

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Firefighters rescued a woman who fell part of the way down a 20-foot wall and got wedged between two buildings in Southwest Portland Wednesday morning.

The woman fell between the parking garage of the Gretchen Kafoury Commons apartment building and the Joyce Furman building near Southwest 12th Avenue and Columbia Street at around 3:45 a.m., firefighters said.

Firefighters pulled the woman to safety at 7:30 a.m. after they spent nearly four hours cutting one of the concrete walls around the woman to free her. She was taken to a hospital.

When firefighters pulled her to safety, the woman clenched her fists and shouted, "Oh, my God!"

Crews used airbags to spread that walls as much as they could and used lubricant to slide the woman free.

Firefighters were able to talk to the woman during the rescue effort. They don’t know the extent of her injuries, according to Portland Fire Bureau spokesman Lt. Damon Simmons.

“Initially our plan was to basically cut a doorway and pull the wall away from the patient,” Simmons said. “We had a dust issue. The dust was creating some breathing issues there for her.”

Firefighters created windows on each side of the woman to blow in heat and give her blankets.

“We brought her husband up to talk to her, and keep her spirits up,” Simmons said.

Firefighters extended one of those windows to turn one of them into a door, Simmons said.

“She’s very uncomfortable, scared, agitated,” said Simmons. “She’s been in there for hours.”

Dispatchers told KATU News someone called 9-1-1 at around 3:45 a.m. to report that the woman had fallen between the buildings. She was walking on the roof of a two-story building when she fell, Simmons said.

Neighbors told KATU News they could hear the woman screaming for help.

The space the woman fell into was only about a foot and a half across, Simmons said. Firefighters were able to pass the woman cups to water through a hole in the concrete while they worked.

“Our main concern is getting her out, then we’ll worry about how she got in there.”

This is a developing story. We will update it with more information as we learn it.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.