Firefighters were able to rescue a woman who was stuck in a garbage chute in a SUNY Downstate building on Lenox Road in Brooklyn. A firefighter told WABC 7, "This is a very unusual circumstance. You're not used to finding a person, let alone, a full grown lady, trapped in a compactor chute."
It's unclear how the woman, 36-year-old June Matthews, got in the chute. City Room reports, "Ms. Matthews apparently entered the chute on the sixth floor of a building on Lenox Road in East Flatbush that provides housing for employees of SUNY Downstate Medical Center nearby." Another firefighter said, "I asked her how she got in there and she gave me a blank stare, basically. Wasn't too sure."
A SUNY Downstate police officer was the first person to come to Matthews' aid while she was stuck between the sixth and fifth floors. He called 911 and used his gunbelt (taking off the gun and other items) as a rope. Then firefighters arrived and offered her another rope. While they were offering her air, because the chute was so confined, she started to slip to the fourth floor, where firefighters were able to cut through the wall and remove her.
The Post reports, FDNY Battalion Chief Butch Brandes suggested that Matthew's weight -- more than 200 pounds -- might have saved her life after she fell from a sixth-floor chute opening. 'If she wasn't as big as she was, she would have ended up falling to the basement,' Brandes said." He also said she didn't make eye contact during the rescue. Matthews is currently in stable condition at Kings County Hospital.