Library patrons spend 45 minutes stuck in elevator


LISBON — You never know what life has in store for you. Just ask Pauline McKarns, Mack Hoefler or Marti and Walt Best.

They all left their warm cozy homes Thursday with the destination of Lepper Library, for an evening of socializing, relaxing and learning about building the Little Tunnel on the Sandy and Beaver Canal on their minds. Doug Bacso presented a program titled “Trouble on the Summit” sponsored by the Sandy and Beaver Canal Association.

Little did the four know they wouldn’t reach the children’s room or see the presentation they set out to see. Instead, they would find themselves captive in the library elevator and taking turns sitting down to rest on a walker one of them was using.

The group kept calm and cool as they communicated with library personnel and then firefighters. The inside elevator doors had opened but the outside doors remained closed and the elevator sat at a standstill on the main floor.

Lisbon Assistant Fire Chief Kurt Gresh read the emergency manual and talked with a representative from Independent Elevators of Canton while the job of finding solutions to opening the doors without further harming the elevator was underway. It was determined cutting the power wouldn’t work. The occupants tried repeatedly to  reach a release latch, even pushing on it with a cane, that was on the inside of the elevator to no avail.

Meanwhile, several firefighters worked with a tool-like key trying to hit a latch inside the doors from the outside.

As firefighter Dave Crawford headed to the high school to get their elevator key — the school has the same elevator system —  Lt. Mark Hall had the magic touch and was able to hit the release latch and the firefighters pushed open the door.

Forty-five minutes after the group got on the elevator, McKarns, Hoefler and the Bests strolled out into the main library with smiles on their faces to the applause of patrons, ready to tell their tales, thank the firefighters, take a deep breath and head to their next destination.


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