Honolulu firefighters Friday rescued a 55-year-old man who was stuck for more than three hours in a small space between two concrete walls on Makaloa Street.
The man, who is believed to be homeless, became stuck between the walls of the Kapiolani Walgreens’ parking garage and the former Heald College site next door.
Ray Rodrigues, property management supervisor at the former Heald College site, said he saw the man, known to those who work in the area only as “Mike,” earlier in the day after tenants complained about him throwing a ball against the Walgreens parking wall from the complex’s second level.
According to Rodrigues, the ball evidently dropped into the small space between the walls sometime later, and the man fell as he tried to retrieve it with a stick.
The 12- to 15-foot fall left the man wedged horizontally between the walls, which were reported to be 7 to 9 inches apart, several feet above the ground. Passers-by heard him call for help and alerted authorities at 2:06 p.m.
The Honolulu Fire Department dispatched five units staffed with 20 personnel to the site. Rescuers, who were in verbal contact with the man, initially tried lowering a cable to him from above, but he was unable to grab it.
Firefighters on the Makaloa Street side of Walgreens ultimately used concrete- cutting saws to break through one of the walls below where the man was stuck, slicing through one foot of concrete and rebar to create an opening approximately 3 feet high and 4 feet wide.
The firefighters were able to extricate the man through the opening at 5:23 p.m.
Emergency Medical Services personnel waiting at the scene treated the man before transporting him in serious condition to a trauma center.
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