81ºF

Firefighters rescue elderly man trapped in attic

St. Augustine man treated for heat exhaustion

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Fast-thinking firefighters on Friday rescued an elderly man trapped in the attic of a St. Augustine home, St. Johns County Fire Rescue said. 

On Monday, Fire Rescue Special Operations Capt. Isaac Frazier gave News4Jax a firsthand account of the rescue.

Frazier said he and several units got the call Friday about the elderly stuck in his own attic on Estrada Avenue -- in the extreme heat -- and knew they needed to move quickly. 

"He was up there for what they said was hours, trying to work on a pipe. He was in a lot of distress, couldn't move his legs. Severe heat exhaustion was pretty much the culprit," Frazier said.

It was a dangerous scenario for both him and rescue workers trying to free him.

"We are used to working with people because we do it a lot, and then training kicks in. Everything that we train on, we do it so much, it just becomes, kind of, a repetition thing for us sometimes," Frazier said. 

Frazier said the situation required him and others to call on that training. Rescuers were unable to use a ladder because the man could only get so far. Firefighters were forced to maneuver him over to the attic door and then rush to build a pulley system to get him out while paramedics monitored his condition.

"We built a system, got him over there, packaged him, did a full lift and lowered him to safety," Frazier said. 

Photos captured the moment first responders got the man to the first floor before getting him the medical treatment he needed. Frazier said that moment was a relief for him and the other rescuers in more ways than one.

IMAGES: Elderly man rescued from attic

"As we came down the stairs, it was a lot less hot than it was in the attic before," he said. "It felt cool -- literally."

The man, who has not been named, was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for heat exhaustion. There was no word on his condition as of Monday night.