Power outage traps elevator riders in
by Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter
It is a source of fear for some, but two Elkin women got a laugh out of being stuck on an elevator Wednesday.
Debbie Elledge and Lynn Shepherd-Bolls are residents of Chatham Woods senior apartment rentals in Elkin. When a power outage left part of the building in darkness, the two became stuck in an elevator on the second floor.
Both women live on the second floor of the former Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital building. Elledge said the two were on their way to the post office about 2:30 p.m. when they stepped on the elevator and the door closed.
Almost as soon as the door closed a power outage occurred.
They would not see the outside hallway again for over an hour and a half.
“We got on and pushed the button for [Floor] 1, and nothing happened,” Elledge said. “We were just having a nice time, and so then we rang the bell for help because we didn’t know what else to do.”
First responders from the Elkin Rescue Squad and Elkin Fire Department arrived and began working to free the women.
The crews worked to open the door via screw drivers, metal bars and the special key designed to open elevator doors.
The key is a specially designed metal rod that fits into the round hole at the top right hand corner of elevator doors.
When all else failed, an Otis elevator technician used a hand-held power drill and bit to drill a hole into the door and open it.
The two women spoke to Elkin Rescue Squad’s Kevin Cheek through the door and were kept calm through the passing minutes. Cheek asked them how they were doing and kept them up to date on what was going on outside.
The two women said the lights remained on inside the elevator while they were there.
According to the responders and several residents who had gathered outside the door, the building is fed electricity by two different lines, allowing part of the building to remain with the lights on.
The other half of the complex had lights working in the apartments but the hallway lights were off.
Around 4 p.m. the door opened and the two women made a dash out of the elevator. Both joked that from now on it was the stairs for them.
“We got on there about 2:30 [p.m.] so we’ve been on there about two hours,” Elledge said.
The two said this sort of thing had happened before.
“It never happened to me before, did it happen to you?” Elledge asked Shepherd-Bolls.
“Yeah, yeah it did,” Shepherd-Bolls said.
Chatham Woods Manager Nicole Perkins said she would be happy to get the media representative for the company in touch with The Tribune.
A follow-up call was made Thursday morning, but as of press time no call from the representative had been received.
After their time in captivity, the women began looking to make up for lost time.
“I’m going to go find me a good steak to eat,” Elledge said.
When Shepherd-Bolls was asked what she was going to do, Elledge said, “She’s going to get a good meal. We’re going to get some water and a good meal.”
The two said that, if something like this was going to happen, at least they had a friend to share the experience with.
Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 ext. 15 or at email@example.com.
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