A woman who fell into an outhouse vault toilet at a national forest near Seattle was rescued by Washington state firefighters over the weekend.
The woman, who was not identified by authorities, fell into the toilet attempting to retrieve her cellphone that had fallen in. She was at the top of Mount Walker of the Olympic National Forest in Quilcene. A vault toilet, also known as a pit toilet, is housed in permanent structures and does not flush nor do they utilize water.
Brinnon Fire Department Chief Tim Manly said the woman first disassembled the toilet before using dog leashes to tie herself down in the stall while she reached for the phone. That effort failed, and she fell headfirst into the toilet.
“They didn’t work very well and in she went,” Manly told The Kitsap Sun.
The woman was alone and tried to escape the vault for 10-15 minutes but wasn’t able to get out. But, she did get what she went in after: Her phone, which luckily had cell service. So, she called 911 for help.
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Firefighters passed her blocks to stand on to reach a harness before pulling her out of the toilet.
“I imagine that she was probably very fortunate,” Manly told the Kitsap Sun, noting the woman was uninjured. “I don’t have any experience with that kind of a rescue, except for now, but I know that is not a good place to be.
“This was pretty unique. I’ve been doing this for 40 years and that was a first.”
Contributing: The Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, Washington),The Associated Press.