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Drama at the hotel

Young lady stuck in Belmont Inn elevator rescued by firefighters

Stuck in an elevator?

It’s something we probably think about with a measure of amusement.

Until it happens.

Abbeville was hit by a massive power outage last week, an outage which lasted much of the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 2.

The outage began about 1:20 p.m. and lasted slightly more than four hours, and affected most, if not all, of the city.

And the outage produced some stories. Maggi Palmer, an employee of the Belmont Inn in Abbeville, was stuck in an elevator at the historic hotel when the power went out.

“I ended up between the first and second floor,” she said.

While in the elevator, she immediately texted Belmont owners Jim Petty and Susan Botts Petty to inform them of her predicament, and she also put her voice to good use.

“I yelled for help,” she said. Someone on the first floor heard her appeals for assistance, said Palmer,

The City of Abbeville Fire and Rescue literally came to her rescue, and opened the elevator doors, and Palmer was at last free.

“I was in there for about 30 minutes,” she said of her forced habitation on the elevator.

Palmer was in the process of cleaning up when the power outage hit. She was coming down to the first floor to see if anything needed to be cleaned.

It was the first time she had ever been stuck in an elevator.

“The lights flickered,” she said. Then the elevator went down a little more, and stopped altogether, and the lights went out.

“The only light I had was on my phone, and there was a little light in the elevator,” she said.

She sat down on the floor of the elevator, so that if it fell, she would not be hurt.

She could have fallen two stories down, because it would have fallen straight down to the basement.

“It was pretty shocking,” she said. “But I just tried to stay calm the whole time, and I tried not to move the elevator much.”

Her fellow employees kept her company from the first floor while they waited for rescue.

It took Fire and Rescue about 15 minutes to get her out, and the fire fighters tried to keep her calm while getting her out.

“I was really relieved when I finally got out of the elevator,” she said.

She is immensely grateful to her rescuers. According to Karen Nicholson, executive assistant with the City of Abbeville fire and zoning department, those who responded included fire chief Neal Dickenson, Chandler White, William Whitmire, Brandon Henderson and Taylor Scott.

The rescue at the Belmont was not their first elevator operation. “It was something they had done in the past,’ said Nicholson.

Belmont Inn employee Maggi Palmer
Belmont Inn employee Maggi Palmer found herself stuck in an elevator during a Feb. 2 power outage.

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