Firefighters were called to a private townhouse in Manhatten. When they arrived they were directed to the building’s elevator. They pried open the elevator to find a weary woman waiting inside. She told rescuers she had been stuck in the elevator from three days.
It seems that the family that owned the house, billionaire investment banker Warren Stephens and his family, had gone away for the weekend on vacation.
Meanwhile, 53-year-old Marites Fortaliza, a housekeeper of the family, tried to use the elevator. The elevator got stuck between the second on third floors. She had no cell phone with her and the owners of the building weren’t going to be back until Monday. Not a place anyone wants to be in.
It was not until Monday when a delivery person arrived. Seeing the situation, the delivery person called the family to tell them something was up. A few family members arrived and soon called the fire department.
Firefighters spent some time and pried open the doors. They were greeted by a dehydrated Fortaliza that I’m guessing was probably pretty happy to see them. She had no food or water and hadn’t been able to go to the bathroom since that Friday before. She wasn’t able to do much of anything the whole weekend. She was able to get to the bathroom and was taken to the hospital. She is suffering from dehydration but her condition seems to be listed as good so she is doing alright.
The elevator itself should be checked over. It has the last inspection in 2018 and checked out okay. The strange this is when building inspectors came to check over the elevator and attempt to figure out why it stalled, Stephens refused to let them in! I don’t know about any of you but that raises its own suspicious flags. Maybe it is something more normal amongst billionaires.
Thankfully this was not a high rise building and thankfully the elevator itself didn’t come loose and plummet down the elevator shaft or anything that could have made it worse! Recently in Chicago, an elevator plunged 84 floors after one of its ropes broke and shows that if something went wrong it can go REALLY wrong. In this case, it is welcome that this townhouse in New York isn’t nearly that tall and the elevator car the woman was in didn’t fall any floors.
And despite it being a residence of a billionaire, the elevator itself was not very big either. The cab that Fortaliza spent the weekend inside was only 1×1.2 meters around. I suppose it is a private residence townhouse, not a commercial area so this wasn’t a freight elevator or anything like that. Then again, if you are stuck in a broken elevator for three days, it doesn’t matter much how big it is.
Mr. Stephens’ private investment bank Stephens Inc. did release a statement over the ordeal saying that “The cause of this unfortunate incident is being investigated and appropriate measures will be taken to ensure something like this never happens again.”
Although it is still early into finding out what happened, no legal actions have been filed as of yet. Maybe the threat of legal action is the reason why Mr. Stephens hasn’t allowed inspectors to come into the home and look at the elevator. With inspectors yet to figure out what happened with it and why it stalled out at the worst possible time, I hope the other members of his family don’t plan on using that elevator either!
Looks like the residency of the Stephens residence will have to use the stairs for a while!