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Woman rescued from elevator

HELP: Melissa Vest passes a box out of the elevator, which is stuck halfway between floors at the Holiday Express, 1000 N Baldwin Ave, as first responders and aSchindler Elevators technician work to fix it.

BY Samantha Oyler - soyler@chronicle-tribune.com

Marion Fire Department responded to a call around 1 p.m. yesterday to help get a woman out of an elevator.

Melissa Vest, an employee at the Holiday Inn Express at 1000 N. Baldwin Ave., was riding the elevator down to the main floor after restocking cleaning carts at the end of her shift when the elevator suddenly jerked to a stop.

“I know when I hit the first floor, I hit hard,” Vest said to responders from inside the elevator car.

The elevator actually didn’t hit the ground at all, but was instead suspended a few feet above the first floor.

As firefighters worked to get her out, fellow Holiday Inn employees stood by, talking to Vest periodically to make sure she was alright.

She was unharmed and actually joked that she would probably get overtime because of the incident.

Vest was in the elevator for about 20 minutes before a technician from Schindler Elevators was able to free her.

While she and her coworkers made jokes about the situation, Vest later said she did feel a bit scared.

“I kept having flashbacks of my grandma,” she said.

According to Vest, her grandmother had gotten stuck in an elevator for a few hours once and refused to get on an elevator ever since.

“I always used to question why she wouldn’t get on. … I guess it scared her enough to never want to get on one again,” she said.

Despite her concerns, Vest said she was confident in the abilities of those who came to help.

Although the hotel is still fairly new, having opened in May 2018, this was not the first time the elevator has had problems.

The technician from Schindler Elevators said the cause of the incident was a part called a governor.

This part is supposed to act as a safety measure to prevent the elevator from free falling.

He said that when the governor senses the elevator moving too fast, it triggers a hard stop that suspends the car, which is why the elevator was stuck a few feet from the first floor.

The technician has since turned off the elevator to prevent further problems until a new governor can be installed.