November 26, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
34°F

Woman falls through floor

MEDINA — A woman was injured after falling through the second floor of her split-level home at 945 Kenner Drive on Monday.

Pamela Benedict was trapped for nearly an hour, her leg dangling between her bathroom floor and garage ceiling before crews rescued her, officials said.

“The floor just failed and rotted out, and she just happened to step in the wrong place and fell through,” Fire Chief Robert Painter said.

med-a1-color-5col-falloutside-copyRescue workers from the Medina Fire Department work for an hour to free a woman who had fallen through the rotted floor in her Kenner Drive split-level home Monday morning. Their efforts were hampered by the unstable, water-damaged floor. (Kaitlin Bushinski / Gazette)

The dispatcher received a 911 call about the trapped woman at 10:36 a.m., Painter said. When rescue crews arrived, they could not immediately remove Benedict from the second floor because it was unstable, he said.

“We had our guys try to go up there and it was wobbling,” Painter said. “Luckily, we can get in through the garage.”

Painter later said crews had to stabilize the floor from underneath, using jacks and posts to fortify the floor’s framework to prevent it from collapsing further.

He said it appeared the home likely had sustained heavy water damage from a poor plumbing system.

“They’ve been flushing the toilets by using buckets of water, and that kind of thing,” Painter said.

Although the chief requested the Medina County All Hazards team to aid in the rescue, Medina firefighters had freed Benedict by the time the team arrived at 11:27 a.m.

“We were able to get guys next to her, and we physically just lifted her out,” Painter said.

Medical crews brought Benedict, who was conscious, through the front door of the house on a wheeled chair and wrapped in blankets.

Painter said Benedict suffered only minor injuries.

She was transported by the Life Support Team to Medina Hospital, where she was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Medina building official Jon Parker inspected the house after Benedict was removed and determined it was unsafe.

He said further evaluation was necessary before he could determine if the structure should be condemned.

Family members, including Benedict’s husband and adult son, had to vacate the premises after firefighters escorted them into the home to collect clothing, medicine and other immediate needs.

“It does appear to be one or more water leaks in the system that contributed to the problem,” Parker said. “We simply don’t know. The effect was certainly profound.”

Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or kbushinski@ohio.net.