Bruce Willis would be proud — Boston firefighters stage elevator-to-elevator rescue

A man stuck in the elevator at 33 Arch St. had to be removed in a maneuver that sounded like something out of an action movie.
A man stuck in the elevator at 33 Arch St. had to be removed in a maneuver that sounded like something out of an action movie.
Boston Fire Department

In a scene reminiscent of a Hollywood action movie, Boston firefighters on Friday transferred a man in a stuck elevator through the hatch in the ceiling to another elevator that carried him to safety.

Fire officials received reports of the stuck elevator at about 9:44 a.m. Friday at 33 Arch St., a 22-story office building downtown. After identifying the broken elevator, which was stuck between the second and third floors, and speaking to the trapped man, firefighters confirmed he had no pressing medical issues.

“As long as there are no medical issues, we take our time,” said Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald. “We don’t want to break the elevator because people don’t want to walk 22 floors.”

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Firefighters spent about 70 minutes performing the rescue. Officials locked a functioning elevator next to the elevator car where the man was trapped and cut the power.

Firefighters then climbed out of the working elevator’s hatch, walked from one elevator roof to the other, opened the broken elevator’s hatch, and placed a ladder into the immobile car. The man climbed out and then climbed into the other car, MacDonald said.

No injuries were reported, and an elevator mechanic remained on scene after firefighters left at 11:15 .a.m. to determine the cause of the stoppage and to repair it, MacDonald said.