Firefighters Rescue Woman Stuck In Septic Tank For Days

By Bill Galluccio

August 23, 2019

An Oregon woman was rescued after she fell into a septic tank in her front yard. The woman's daughter hadn't heard from her mother in a few days and went to check on her. That's when she found her trapped in the septic tank, sitting in raw sewage.

The woman called 911 and firefighters rushed to the rural home in Estacada. The woman had been stuck for nearly three days and her neighbors were too far away to hear her screams for help.

"Nobody would've heard her up there," said Richard Anderson, a Division Chief for Estacada Rural Fire District No. 69. "The next closest house was a couple of thousand feet away."

Officials say that work was being done on the woman's septic tank and she fell through a small hole in the rusted metal top of the tank.

"It can be definitely a scary situation, especially sitting at the bottom of a septic tank and you don't know that anybody's coming to get you," Nick Wettlaufer, a paramedic, told a KATU reporter.

Rescue workers managed to pull the woman out the tank and she was airlifted to the hospital. She did not appear to have any injuries but paramedics were concerned that she might have developed infections from being in contact with the raw sewage for such an extended amount of time.

"She was somewhat laying down with her face above the water level. Once we got her out, she was pretty weak, so we just got her straight onto the cot and laid her down," Anderson said.

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