SCHILLER PARK, Ill. — A Schiller Park woman, believed to be in her 50s, is recovering after being trapped beneath a canopy that collapsed at her home.
Fire officials got a call around 10:15 p.m. Monday night for a report of someone trapped in their home. A woman in her 50s was found underneath the canopy behind her home by a family member.
The awning came down due to heavy snow and ice sitting on top of it. It’s believed the woman may have been under it for as long as 10 hours. She was found by a family member returning home, fire officials said.
The woman was taken to Lutheran General Hospital, where she was stabilized. She suffered some injuries to her legs and to her head.
The woman was shoveling the snow when the accident happened.
“The way the collapse came down, it pinned her legs, keeping her body to the back door, which created a space for our paramedics to get in and start treatment right away,” said Fire Chief Mike Cesaretti.”
Firefighters worked to clear the snow and ice above the injured woman, which authorities believe may have caused the collapse.
“Once they were able to get enough snow and ice off, they were able to get on the inside and use a strut stabilizing equipment to make sure nothing else shifted at that point,” Cesaretti said.
Firefighters were able to free the woman in about 10 minutes.
“We have lift bags that can use up to 72 tons. We lifted it up high enough to free her legs,” Cesaretti said. “We used cribbing to go underneath so nothing would shift and fall.”
Fire officials used Tuesday’s incident to remind locals about the dangers of structures feeling the strain of snow.
“Not all collapses give warning,” Cesaretti said. “They could happen in an instant. For a safety message, be aware of what’s over your head in these conditions.”
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