Editor's note: This great story was sent to me by reader Karin Cevasco late Saturday night. She said, during a post-story interview, that she and her family always park in the Elm Street garage for the Stroll, and have never had a problem. She also said she wishes she'd tried using the "emergency phone" inside the elevator while they were stuck, to see who answered. Having cell phones made it easy to call for help. However, when they called the number listed inside the elevator for a mechanic, a woman answered the phone, and said, 'Hi. I'm on third floor trying to get in the elevator," and Cevasco explained they were currently stuck on the ground floor, which was why the woman was waiting, to no avail.
Cevasco said humor got them all – she, her husband, their two young sons and her in-laws, visiting from Jersey, plus "Steve and Diane" – through what could've been a much more harrowing experience, and she would like someone to let her know what went wrong. To that end, I'll be following up with the city regarding what the problem was, and to get an answer to her question, about elevator upkeep and maintenence.
Here's her story. Enjoy! - CR
Dear Carol: Wanted to share that my family and another couple got stuck in the elevator in the Elm Street Parking Garage around 8 p.m. when leaving the Holiday Stroll:
We got into the elevator and Diane and Steve (we just met them in the elevator this evening - lovely people) ran to join us. The elevator doors closed and we pushed the button for the 4th and 5th floors. The lights were on but the elevator didn't move. After pushing a few more buttons and nothing happened, we realized we were stuck. We couldn't get the doors to open again.
Diane called the Nashua police from her cell phone. Within five minutes, three fire trucks arrived and freed us. Nashua's bravest to the rescue!
As we waited inside the elevator, a crowd gathered outside. One wall of the elevator is glass. We felt like fish in a fish bowl.
There were about 6-8 young teenage boys in the crowd outside the "fish bowl." They tried to get us out of the elevator. First, they offered advice: "Push the button! You have to push the button!" Then, they threw their bodies into the glass. When that didn't work they hollered, "Pass the children up to us through the trap door in the ceiling!"
Thank you brave teenagers. But we'll wait for the professionals!
Those red flashing lights were a welcome sight!
When we first realized we were stuck, my 6-year-old son, Charlie, asked, "Does anyone have an axe?" The other woman in the elevator, Diane (I never asked their last name), replied, "I only brought my small handbag today. I couldn't fit my axe in it."
Wouldn't you know the fireman hopped out and grabbed an axe off the truck!
Love that the one elevator wall is a window so we could see the action! Charlie said, "It's okay that they used an axe, but a better rescue would have been the police shooting the door open!"
It was a Holiday Stroll story my family will not soon forget! I'll be taking the stairs from now on.