Birthday rescue by firefighters in Mirfield

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Firefighters ended up rescuing not only a trapped man, but also a 21st birthday this morning.

A 999 call was made at 6.30am by Katie Ward of Mirfield, after her boyfriend became trapped in the lift at the apartment block where they live – just minutes before they were due to set off for the airport on holiday.

After hearing how the couple needed to be at Manchester Airport, almost 50 miles away, to catch a 9.20am flight to Amsterdam to celebrate Katie’s 21st birthday, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue despatched crews.

Katie’s boyfriend Jack Pogson, 20, said: “I had got up at 5am. We were rushing to do the last bit of preparation. I put the bins out and got into the lift and it got stuck.

“I got quite annoyed. I did not have my phone on me. I was stranded hoping that Katie would come out.

“I was thinking ‘what are the chances of this?’‟ I was panicking a bit.”

After around 10 minutes Katie came in search of Jack, discovered what had happened and attempts were made to call a lift engineer by ringing the emergency number in the lift car.

After getting no answer Katie decided to dial 999 in desperation.

Time was now ticking as the couple were due to be picked up to travel by car to the airport at 6.45am. One engine attended the scene and crews were able to release Jack by 7.20am.

The business student said: “I was really relieved and the crew was really helpful and we were laughing about it in the end. It was a bit nail biting. We did not know what the traffic would be like on the roads but we made it!

“I‟m very grateful that they came out to us and got me out in time!”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: “The fire and rescue service do not attend on every occasion that a lift car becomes stuck as we expect building owners to make suitable arrangements.

“However, on this occasion, recognising the urgency of the situation, we attended the incident which thankfully led to a successful outcome. We hope that Katie and Jack have a happy holiday.”

The call was received when national Fire Brigades Union’s industrial action had started today. This meant WYFRS was implementing its contingency plans with cover provided by Community Response Operatives and those not striking.