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Woman Trapped in Elevator in Billionaire's Home For Three Days, Rescued by Firefighters

Apparently, no one had any idea that Fortaliza had been trapped in it, which she had been since Friday.

Shantanu David | News18.com

Updated:January 30, 2019, 12:28 PM IST
Woman Trapped in Elevator in Billionaire's Home For Three Days, Rescued by Firefighters

Call it just another American Horror Story trope, but for Marites Fortaliza it was a very real and terrifying ordeal. The 53-year-old housekeeper, who works for the billionaire Stephens family found herself trapped in an elevator in their New York City townhouse over the whole weekend.

Multiple media outlets reported the bizarre incident, after members of the storied Fire Department of New York (FDNY) forced open the elevator doors on Monday morning and were shocked to find a person trapped in the tiny space. The firefighters had arrived at the townhouse to merely fix the elevator after they received a call from a member of the Stephens family and a deliveryperson, who said that it had become stuck between the second and third floors. Apparently, no one had any idea that Fortaliza had been trapped in it, which she had been since Friday.

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The housekeeper was rushed to a hospital for medical treatment, and reports state that, apart from severe hyderation, she was in a stable condition and subsequently released from the medical care facility.

While investigations into the cause of the elevator's failure are still being investigagted, NBC reported that The Department of Buildings had issued an aggravated violation for failure to provide access to inspectors on Monday after someone inside denied access to them, and said additional enforcement actions may be issued as well. Elevators in private homes are supposed to be inspected on a regular basis and the one that had trapped the unfortunate Fortaliza had been last inspected in July.

In a statement made to NBC 4 in New York, Stephens, Inc. said: "The employee involved has been a valued member of the Stephens extended family for 18 years. The Stephens family is relieved and thankful that she is doing well in the hospital. A Stephens family member accompanied her to the hospital this morning and remains at her side. The cause of this unfortunate incident is being investigated and appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that something like this never happens again."

Several New Yorkers, frequent users of the city's thousands of elevators, took to social media to sympathise with Fortaliza's claustrophobic experience:

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