Woman survives being pinned for 10 hours under collapsed snow-covered awning in Schiller Park
The woman was conscious as crews used struts and inflatable bags to raise the awning from on top of her.
A woman survived after being trapped for 10 hours under a collapsed snow-covered awning Monday at her home in northwest suburban Schiller Park.
The woman, in her 50s, was shoveling snow in the rear of her home when the awning fell on her sometime between noon and 1 p.m., according to the Schiller Park Fire Department.
Pinned by her legs, the woman was trapped under the awning until a family member returned home and found her about 10:15 p.m., department Chief Mike Cesaretti said.
Firefighters rushed to the home in the 4400 block of Grace Street and found the woman conscious under the awning, Cesaretti said. Crews used struts and inflatable bags to raise the awning and free her in about 10 minutes.
“I really can’t say enough about the job these crews did,” Cesaretti said. “From getting the equipment to the rear of the home to stabilizing the canopy and patient — in the timeline they completed all of that — I couldn’t be more proud.”
Crews pulled her out and took her by ambulance to Lutheran General Hospital, where her condition was stabilized.
Cesaretti said this was the first major structure collapse his department responded to during the recent snowy weather.
In Chicago and other suburbs, authorities have responded to dozens of structure failures in February following weeks of freezing temperatures and above-average snowfall. On Feb. 17, a man died after a snow-covered awning collapsed on him and another person at an off-track betting site on the Far South Side of Chicago.
On Sunday, Chicago broke out of a nearly three-week stretch of below-freezing temperatures. Along with the 34 inches of snow that fell at O’Hare during that time, officials warned residents of the dangers of snow melt and falling ice.