Cleveland firefighters rescue man trapped in flooded apartment with water up to his chest

Published: Mar. 29, 2020 at 9:25 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Flash flooding trapped a man inside the basement of an apartment building on Cleveland’s East Side before police and firefighters made the dramatic rescue.

The man called 911 saying water was up to his chest in the basement of the apartment on 2040 Stearns Road, according to officials.

When crews arrived, they entered the building but couldn’t find where the man was located, so firefighters went outside and starting knocking on the building’s windows until they found him, according Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo.

Firefighters then broke out the windows, cut and bent the steel bars on the windows, a rescued the man from the basement, Chief Calvillo continued.

“Thank God our crews got on scene and broke out that window and cut those bars out and retrieved him, rescued that individual," he said.

Calvillo said he was evaluated on scene and walked away.

The Cleveland Division of Police confirmed EMS brought an officer and a sergeant to Cleveland Clinic in connection to exposure to the cold while getting in the water to help the victim.

According to Cleveland Fire, 10 people are displaced from the apartments. The American Red Cross was on scene to assist.

“We started hearing banging on the door from the Cleveland Police Department,” said Soon Yi, who lives on the first floor of the building. “They took us out of the building. When we came outside, the water level was at about our waist, then after a few minutes it was actually up to our chest. It was really nice that the police got us out that quickly.”

Four residents on the higher floors of the apartment building were directed to shelter in place, according to Cleveland Fire.

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