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Firefighters Use Forklift To Rescue Fallen 700-Pound Man

May 24, 1991

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) _ A 700-pound man who fell inside his apartment and hurt his leg was rescued Thursday by firefighters using a forklift, a fire official said.

Michael Mitchell, 42, fell at about 8 a.m. and yelled for help, but neighbors couldn’t move him. Firefighters and paramedics also couldn’t budge him, but they were able to prop him up and give him oxygen, said Steve Cavallero, acting battalion chief of the Redwood City Fire Department.

Mitchell was too heavy to carry down the stairs, Cavallero said. So one of Mitchell’s friends suggested that firefighters use a forklift to get him out.

The rescuers sawed off a metal railing to make room for the equipment. They then built a makeshift pallet and slid Mitchell onto a bed mattress for the two-story descent.

Mitchell was hospitalized in stable condition with respiratory problems.

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