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Local News

Santa Barbara Firefighters Rescue Man Wedged Between Walls of Downtown Building

Crews fashion rope system to hoist man from 10-inch-wide space

Santa Barbara firefighters were called out early Sunday to rescue a 23-year-old man who found himself — literally — in a very tight spot.

The man, who was fairly intoxicated, had somehow wedged himself between a building and the block wall of an adjacent utility area behind the 99 Cent Only Store in the 400 block of State Street downtown at about 1:45 a.m., fire Capt. Steve Berman said.

“It was one of those calls I’ve never had in my career,” Berman said.

The space was only about 10 inches wide, Berman said, and the man was lying down about 15 feet in, making it impossible for rescuers to go in after him.

Firefighters had to fashion a rope system to rescue a man who had gotten himself stuck in this 10-inch-wide space behind a building in downtown Santa Barbara. (Urban Hikers photo)

“We were trying to figure out the best way to get him out without getting him hurt,” Berman said.

An additional heavy-rescue crew was called in, Berman said, and firefighters fashioned a rope system using ladders from above. Then, a firefighter was able to lasso the man’s foot, and he was hoisted to safety.

The man, who Berman said “was pretty shook up,” was examined by paramedics, but was uninjured.

“The police decided he had been through enough, and there was no need to press charges,” said Berman, who added that he did not known how the man, whose name was not released, had gotten into the predicament in the first place.

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